PARIS (Mar. 15)
Laurent Fabius, the French Minister of Industry, has just returned from a visit to Israel which he believes will improve relations between the two countries and reinforce bilateral cooperation in various fields, informed sources here said today.
Fabius met with the Israeli Minister of Commerce and Industry, Gideon Patt. They agreed to establish a Franco-Israeli association for the development of scientific and technical research, leading to joint projects. Fabius expressed the hope that this type of cooperation would benefit the industry and commerce of both countries, the sources said.
Describing his visit as “fruitful,” he noted that there have been ups and downs in Franco-Israeli relations and they are presently on the upswing. There is, however, a substantial trade gap. French exports to Israel totalled $2.5 billion over the past nine years while its imports from Israel amounted to $1.7 billion.