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Israel, U.S. Sign Education Pact

Israel and the United States today signed a comprehensive agreement for cooperation in education. The agreement, termed the most far-reaching pact dealing with education that the U.S. has signed with any other country, calls for the encouragement of academic exchanges and development of joint education programs. The agreement was signed here by U.S. Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Secretary Joseph Califano and his Israeli counterpart, Education Minister Zevulun Hammer.

During the signing ceremony, Hammer said: “As we worked together to achieve peace in our region, let us hope for the day when we can join with our neighbors to solve education problems in the entire region.” Califano, who described the accord as the most for-reaching, stated: “The people of Israel and the United States share similar deeply held values about life, freedom, the dignity of the individual and the search for knowledge.”

Califano arrived Sunday night on an official visit to Israel to discuss matters of mutual interest. “Nothing is more important than providing for the human development of the individual and we have a great deal to learn together in this area,” he said after meeting Monday with Social Betterment Minister Yisrael Katz where the two men discussed plans for greater cooperation in the fields of social betterment and social security.

The U.S. official said the two countries may sign an agreement next year which would provide for a fair pension system for Israelis living in the U.S., Americans living in Israel, and those who work in both countries. Both HEW and the Israeli Social Betterment Ministry are cooperating in research projects such as effective measurement systems of social betterment services, the treatment of victims of violence, the treatment of drug addicts, the prevention of the development of a second and third poverty generation and the rescuing of young couples from the circle of poverty.

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