Jerusalem, February 16, 2004

Visit of Polish Minister of Culture Waldemar Dabrowski – Signing of Film Co-Production Cooperation Agreement
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

His Excellency Minister of Culture Waldemar Dabrowski,
Minister of Education Limor Livnat,
His Excellency, Polish Ambassador Piekarski,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to welcome Minister Dabrowski to Jerusalem and to sign with him this agreement on Film Co-Production Cooperation between our two countries.

Jerusalem is of course famous for many things, but not many overseas visitors are aware that this beautiful and unique city also hosts a prestigious Film Festival which this year celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Over the years, the Festival has screened films by a number of renowned Polish directors including Wajda, Kieslowski and Zanussi. It is clear to me that by signing this Agreement with Poland, we in Israel are embarking on a creative venture with a cinematic Power.

Cinema is a unique medium. It not only entertains and educates. It also serves as a bridge for fostering understanding and friendship between different cultures and peoples.

The Agreement we are signing today reflects the friendship between our two peoples, but it also offers an opportunity to further consolidate the special relations that are developing between us.

These relations will always be influenced by the past, and this is as it should be. At the same time, alongside our history and memories, we must also look forward towards a common future. Cooperation in the fields of culture, science and education are essential components in building this common future, and I am delighted that this Agreement will enable Israeli and Polish filmmakers to work together.

This is particularly important to us in light of Poland’s forthcoming accession to the EU. I am convinced that greater Polish understanding of Israel and the challenges we face, will also be reflected within the enlarged EU. I am sure that everyone here today joins me in wishing success to this new venture and to the growing relationship between Israel and Poland.