Communicated by Defense Minister’s Media Advisor and the Government Press Office

Jerusalem----December 31......Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met today with People’s Republic of China Ambassador Pan Zhanlin.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer and Ambassador Zhanlin discussed the diplomatic-security situation in the region and bilateral relations between China and Israel. In relating to the canceled Phalcon plane deal, the Defense Minister said that “It should be seen as an issue within the family, and not as a crisis between two states,” and emphasized that Israel and China are building a highway between themselves and not just a bridge.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer pledged that Israel would work to strengthen relations between the two states including detween the defense establishments.

Ambassador Zhanlin expressed his certainty that the two countries would know how to overcome the difficulties and strengthen their relationship, and added that China is fully ready to develop bilateral cooperation.