Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres Meets with the Austri an Foreign Minister

Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres met this afternoon with the Foreign Minister of Austria Ursula Plassnik in Jerusalem. Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres briefed the Foreign Minister on recent developments regarding the economic and civilian coordination of the disengagement with the Palestinians. Peres described the dilemma inherent in the issue of the passages and stated the issue is ‘how can we open the gates of Gaza, without enabling the smuggling of arms to the armed factions.” Peres continued: „We are interested in not just a political peace, but also an economic peace. Therefore, we will need to balance the need to carry out inspections for security purposes, and the need to open the gates to help improve the Gazan economy and enable the citizens of Gaza to feel the tangible benefits of peace the ‘day after’ the disengagement.” Peres added that Israel has already invested approximately 100 million shekels in improving and upgrading the passages.

Peres also stated that „Israel is ready to take great risks in order to facilitate the Palestinian economy and to ease the conditions in Gaza.” Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres later met with the Prime Minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader. The two discussed international and regional political and economic developments. Vice Prime Minister Peres stated today after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader; ‘Croatia is a small country, with a beautiful population. There is a natural sympathy between our countries and our peoples. As the Israeli experience has illuminated, including in the Negev and Galil regions, there is no better economy than science. We plan to develop a good and close relationship in the scientific domains.” BPI-info