(Communicated by the President’s Spokeswoman)

President Moshe Katsav met today (Thursday), 29 April 2004, in Berlin, with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, respectively, against the backdrop of the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism that took place in the city.

President Katsav told Chancellor Schroeder that extremist organizations must be prevented from using the European media in order to disseminate anti-Semitic sentiments.  The two leaders also discussed the events that will take place next year to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.

President Katsav invited Chancellor Schroeder to visit Israel; the latter said that he was committed to visiting Israel next year.

President Katsav told Chancellor Scroeder that the absence of a Palestinian partner was not enabling the implementation of the Roadmap, to which the Israeli government is committed.  The President said that the Palestinian leadership has done nothing to advance negotiations and continues to use terrorism as a means to achieving political ends.

In his meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, President Katsav updated him on developments in the region.  The President said that while Arafat is much more relevant than he was in the past due to his influence over the Palestinian people, he is exploiting this influence in a negative way and is not acting to halt terrorism.