Jerusalem, July 14, 2003

Seminar for Latin American Parliamentarians
14-18 July 2003
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Knesset, is holding a four-day seminar for Members of Parliament and Senators from Latin America. In the course of the seminar, which begins today, the legislators will be exposed to the Israeli reality and learn about issues relevant to our region.

Twenty-six MP’s and Senators from fourteen Latin American states will be participating in the seminar, including Parliamentary Presidents and Chairpersons of Committees for Foreign Affairs, Science and Education. For most of them, this is their first visit to Israel.

During the seminar, the participants will visit the Knesset and meet with the Speaker of the Knesset and members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as well as members of committees for science, aliyah and absorption. They will also meet with the Minister for Science and Technology, the Deputy Defense Minister, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and the Director General of the Foreign Ministry. Academicians from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as Tel Aviv University will deliver lectures to the visitors, and military officers will brief them on the security situation.

The seminar reinforces the traditionally friendly relations that have existed between Israel and the Latin American countries starting with the latter support for the establishment of the State of Israel 55 years ago, and continuing with fruitful cooperation in various fields up to today.

Further evidence of the strong ties between the two countries can be seen in the fact that the only two countries that maintain embassies in Jerusalem, Costa Rica and El Salvador, are both from Central America.