Jerusalem, January 22, 2004

FM Shalom Discusses International Court of Jutice with US Secretary of State
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Media Advisor)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom spoke to U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell (January 22, 2004) and thanked him for his efforts to limit damage to Israel at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

FM Shalom updated Powell on the Israeli government’s preliminary discussions on the issue and its preparation of a written statement to the ICJ opposing the Court’s jurisdiction on procedural and substantive grounds.

Israel attaches great important to the submission of statements by as many likeminded states as possible, particularly members of the Security Council and the Quartet.

FM Shalom said that the U.S. position is of paramount importance, as many countries look to the lead taken by the United States. FM Shalom encouraged the Secretary of State in his efforts to secure a joint US-Russian approach to this issue.

FM Shalom added that bringing this matter to the ICJ not only undermines the Security Council, which has already addressed the issue, but also it encourages the Palestinians to refrain from engaging in direct negotiations with Israel pursuant to the Road Map.

Israel is of opinion that the ICJ is not the forum to resolve issues in debate between Israel and the Palestinians.