FM Silvan Shalom will leave for Brussels to take part in a meeting of the Israel-EU Association Council.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom will leave tomorrow (Monday, 13 December) for Brussels to take part in a meeting of the Israel-EU Association Council. The Association Council is the highest formal framework for the management of relations between Israel and the EU.

During the Council meeting, FM Shalom will discuss with his European colleagues – FM Bernart Bot, Head of Dutch Presidency; Javier Solana, responsible for foreign relations; and Benita Ferrero Waldner, Commissioner for Foreign Relations – the joint Israeli-EU plan of action, in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy. This plan constitutes a significant upgrading of Israeli-EU relations and will allow Israeli companies greater accessibility to European markets. It will also facilitate closer cooperation with the EU in the struggle against terrorism and antisemitism.

The meeting will focus, apart from bilateral issues, on Israel’s call to the EU to add Hizbullah to the list of European terrorist organizations. Minister Shalom will present to the EU foreign ministers data regarding Hizbollah’s involvement in promoting Palestinian terrorism against Israel and attempting to sabotage current efforts to achieve calm and improved security.

During his visit in Brussels, the Minister will hold bilateral meetings with the Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, and Foreign Minister Karel de Jucht.

Minister Shalom will also meet with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The two will discuss ways to enhance Israel-NATO relations, with an emphasis on cooperation on counter-terrorism and anti-proliferation of WMD.

In addition to the formal Council meetings, the Israeli Foreign Minister is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Hungary, Greece, Luxemburg and Holland.