Shamir: Beginning of Economic Recovery in Israel Has Begun

Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir today told the Presidents Club of the Israel Bond Organization that although there is a long way toward an economic recovery in Israel, the beginning of such a recovery has already taken place.

Speaking at the luncheon meeting at the Regency Hotel here, the Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier said that Israel needs now to increase exports and increase investments in its economy. “For that we need the support of the Jewish business community in the United States and around the world. There are signs that we are going to get that help,” Shamir said.

Recalling that he recently completed a visit to Japan, Shamir noted that the Japanese business community is extremely fearful of the Arab boycott and therefore has been withholding conducting business with Israel. He said that Israel is very much interested in developing economic ties with Japan. He called on American Jewish businessmen who do business with Japan to use their influence with the Japanese, and convince them to do business with the Jewish State.

MAIN PROBLEM IN THE MIDEAST

Turning to Israel’s relations with its neighbors, Shamir said that Israel is interested in improved relations with Egypt. He said that there are differences in the unity government in Israel as to how to get this improvement.

But he said the main problem in the Middle East is that Israel still faces the Arab’s denial of its existence. “We still face terrorist activities,” Shamir said, which is the “outstanding expression of the Arab refusal to accept Israel.”

The Israeli Foreign Minister blasted Britain and its Premier, Margaret Thatcher, for inviting two Palestine Liberation Organization leaders to visit London. “It is a terrible blow to the peace process in the Middle East, and an appeasement of terrorism. We hope no other Western country will behave likewise,” Shamir said.

He praised the United States’ strong position against terrorism. He said that despite differences between the two countries, the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem is very good and the cooperation on all levels between the two governments continues. “We are friends,” he declared.

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