Jerusalem, 10 July 1997

DM MORDECHAI MEETS WITH PA REPRESENTATIVE NABIL SHA’ATH

(Communicated by Defense Minister’s Media Coordinator)

Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai met yesterday evening (Wednesday), 9.7.97, with Palestinian Authority representative Nabil Sha’ath, for a discussion of security issues related to the negotiations with the Palestinians.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk; Maj.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz; Attorney Yitzhak Molcho; the Defense Minister’s Military Adviser, Brig.-Gen. Ya’acov Amidror; and several high-ranking PA officials also participated in the meeting, which took place at the home of Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Muhammad Bassiouny. The meeting was helpful, and was conducted in a positive atmosphere.

Defense Minister Mordechai stressed that continued progress in all areas is completely dependent on the PA’s determination in the struggle against terrorism, and the extent of security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

During the meeting, a model for accelerating the negotiations on the arrangements for the Deihaniye airport, was agreed upon. The Defense Minister informed Nabil Sha’ath that Israel is currently prepared to allow the Palestinian Authority to prepare the technical and electronic equipment required for the functioning of the airport, although the airport will not begin to operate until security issues are resolved.

Defense Minister Mordechai also informed Nabil Sha’ath that Foreign Minister David Levy the chairman of the steering committee and coordinator of the negotiations will, in all likelihood, approve the beginning of discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the issues of a port and "safe passage", next week.