Levy Ends U.N. Diplomatic Mission with Flurry of High-level Meetings

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said he was pleased with his first extended immersion in diplomacy since taking office, as he wrapped up a nine-day visit here for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.

“I feel I’ve done a good job,” Levy said at a news conference Tuesday before returning to Israel.

The plight of Ethiopian Jews was high on the agenda of Levy’s meeting Monday with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tesfaye Dinka.

According to Levy’s spokeswoman, Aliza Goren, the two sides reached an understanding to “expedite the exodus” of Jews from Addis Ababa, where at least 15,000 are waiting for permission to settle in Israel.

She said that the Ethiopian official had agreed to allow a civilian delegation from Israel to examine the situation of Jews in Ethiopia and to see how Israel could be of assistance.

According to Israeli officials, the Ethiopian leader denied that his government was trying to prevent Ethiopian Jews from reuniting with their families in Israel.

He said that difficulties in emigration were due to “technical problems,” including measures the Ethiopian government was taking to prevent non-Jews from leaving.

On Tuesday, Levy discussed the fledgling relationship between Israel and China with the Chinese foreign minister, Qian Qichen, in what was described as the first ministerial-level meeting between the two countries since 1987.

Speaking after the meeting, the two men noted the recent progress in tourism and technological exchanges between their two countries.

The Chinese diplomat, however, indicated a connection between progress in bilateral relations with Israel and the continuation of the Middle East peace process.

“We hope with the improvement with the peace process, there will be improvement in bilateral relations as well,” the Chinese diplomat said.

During his stay here, Levy also met with officials from the United States, the Soviet Union, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Japan, Holland, Spain, Brazil, Germany and Canada.

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