Jerusalem, February 8, 2004

FM Shalom to Visit India
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is departing this evening (8 February) for a three day visit to India, during which he will hold meetings with key Indian leaders, including President Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, and Defence Minister George Fernandes.

During the course of his visit, Minister Shalom will discuss with his hosts the strengthening of strategic relations between the two countries, and ongoing diplomatic, economic and security cooperation (trade between Israel and India now stands at about $1.5 billion). Mr. Shalom will also raise the issue of India’s voting pattern on Israel-related issues at the United Nations.

In addition, the Minister will visit Mumbai, and meet there with business leaders, as well as with the Mumbai Jewish community, which totals about 5,000 members.

Next month, Israel and India will hold a joint conference on the issue of combating terrorism.