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10. 3. 2008 16:41

Premier Mirek Topolánek and His Israeli Counterpart Ehud Olmert Agreed on Cooperation in Science and Technology

On Monday, March 10, 2008, Czech Premier Mirek Topolánek met the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for talks on the peace process in the Middle East, and on science and technology cooperation between the Czech Republic and Israel.

During his meeting with the Israeli Premier Olmert today, the Czech Premier expressed his sympathy with the eight victims of the shooting in the religious school Merkaz Harav on March 6.

The talks between the Czech and Israeli Prime Ministers were focused primarily on the Middle East peace process. Mirek Topolánek supported Israel’s struggle against terrorism, and discussed with Ehud Olmert the situation in the Gaza Strip and on the Western bank of the Jordan. Premier Topolánek said he would welcome a much closer cooperation of the European Union in the peace process. The Czech Premier went on to say the Union has not been every active so far. "This has to be set right," stressed M. Topolánek.

The other key topic of the bilateral talks was scientific and technological cooperation between the Czech Republic and Israel. Israel’s annual investments into science and technology total 4.8 % of its GNP, while that country has now outstripped even the biggest European investor into science, namely Finland (4.2 % GNP). At the end of their talks, the Czech and Israeli Premiers have signed an agreement on cooperation on the management of the Czech-Israeli science and research fund.

Premier Mirek Topolánek today also visited the historical centre of Jerusalem. While sightseeing in the Old City of Jerusalem, he saw such gems of its architecture as the Jaffa Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Christian and Jewish Quarters, and the Western (Wailing) Wall, the remnant of the church burnt down by the Romans. The Czech Premier also visited the Yad Vashem Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust, established back in 1953. Yad Vashem is situated on the Mount of Remembrance and contains the world’s most extensive archive of documents on the Holocaust. The Premier laid flowers at the monument commemorating the six million victims of the Shoa.

Press Department of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic

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