(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met this afternoon (Monday), 30 August 2004, with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.  The Director of the Prime Minister ’s Bureau, Dov Weisglass; the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Adviser, Shalom Turgeman; the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant; Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Europe, Ron Kuriel; and the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser, Asaf Shariv, attended the meeting for the Israeli side.  Present for the German side were German Ambassador to Israel Rudolf Dressler, German Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Director-General Michael Sheffer, German Foreign Minister Fischer’s Chief of Staff Helga Schmidt, German Foreign Ministry Middle East Dept. Director Horst Freytag and German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Walter Linder.

Joschka Fischer has served as German Foreign Minister since 1998 and is among Israel’s greatest friends in Europe.  He arrived in Israel in the context of a regional visit and also met with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Opposition Leader Labor MK Shimon Peres.

Prime Minister Sharon noted the good relations between Israel and Germany, and especially those between himself and German Foreign Minister Fischer; he thanked him for his friendship and support.

Prime Minister Sharon pointed out that this coming May will mark 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations and emphasized that Israel attributes supreme importance to the special nature of bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Sharon and German Foreign Minister Fischer discussed the implementation of the disengagement plan; the former stressed that he is determined to implement the plan and said that the plan gives hope for peace.

Regarding the security fence, Prime Minister Sharon emphasized that Israel will continue construction of the fence in keeping with humanitarian norms, as per the 30 June 2004 High Court of Justice decision.

The two men also discussed the situation in the Palestinian Authority, Iran, Syria and the upsurge in anti-Semitism in Europe.