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Israel Govt Post Cabinet Briefing


The Following is the statement of the Goverment Secretary at the end of Cabinet meeting Sunday, 14.03.2004:

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 14.3.2004:

1. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent condolences on behalf of the government and the Israeli people, to the Spanish people over the large number of victims in last Thursday's cruel terror attack. The Prime Minister said, "This terror attack teaches us something, which we in Israel have known for many years, that there is no compromise with terror and there can be no situation which allows for such compromise. We must fight terror without restraint; this is Israel's position and I hope that the world is waking up and understands that we must all act together to fight terror."

2. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom briefed the government on his visit to Egypt and his meetings with Egyptian President Mubarak his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Maher and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Foreign Minister Shalom said that he enjoyed a warm reception, and that he believes that this represents a certain change in the Arab States since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Foreign Minister Shalom noted that his meetings focused on the situation between Israel and the Palestinians and on a number of bilateral issues such as: economic cooperation, free trade between Israel, Egypt and the US, advancing the project to establish a joint industrial area in Rafiah and encouraging Israeli tourism to Egypt.

The Foreign Minister commented that Egyptian President Mubarak emphasized his support for the Roadmap, and also expressed his concern over the deterioration in the security situation in the Palestinian Authority in general and in Gaza in particular. President Mubarak proposed to aid by sending experts and advisors and by changing Egypt's military deployment on the border in order to more effectively fight smuggling.

Foreign Minister Shalom discussed Prime Minister Sharon's meeting with the latter's Palestinian counterpart, the terror attack in Spain, and yesterday s decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to condemn the continuation of Iran's uranium enrichment plan.

In addition, the Foreign Minister noted that it is expected that US President Bush will announce a series of sanctions against Syria, and also discussed the interim constitution, which was signed recently by the members of the ruling council in Iraq.

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