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SHALOM ISRAEL

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 2
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel held a seminar entitled 'Getting Acquainted with Israel' from February 22-25 to which representatives from various countries of the former Soviet Union, including Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan were invited. Georgia was represented by International News Editor of the 24 Hours newspaper Ivane Shilakadze and Zaza Gachechiladze, Editor-in-Chief of The Messenger. The seminar was designed to provide a deeper understanding of the State of Israel, its foreign and domestic policy, culture, science, education, medicine, history and other issues to representatives of friendly nations.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Mr. Daniel Ayhelon welcomed the participants at the Foreign Ministry. A briefing was also held there on the details of the countryís strategy and home affairs. In the Knesset (Parliament of Israel) a very interesting meeting was held with MPs Mr. Robert Tiviaev and Ms Faina Kirshenbaum, who both originate from the former Soviet Union. After numerous questions from the delegation of guests they gave details of life in Israel in various respects.

The delegation also visited Kibbutz Shefayim where they saw advanced irrigation and cattle farming systems. The delegation took the utmost interest in the open museum in the Tefen Industrial Park, which according to its designers will give great and equal opportunities to Israeli citizens to dedicate themselves to entrepreneurship by encouraging private initiative and assisting it. The delegation then visited the Wolfson medical centre and was informed about the advanced technologies used there and the availability of healthcare services in the country. They held a very interesting and impressive meeting with staff of the Technion Israeli Institute of Technology and Russian speaking students there.

A visit to the Arab-Jewish centre in Haifa highlighted some existing controversies and attempts by the Israeli state to handle disputes between the Arab and Jewish communities in the country appropriately. The guests enjoyed the very picturesque and entertaining experience of attending a performance of the musical Fiddler on the Roof at the Camera Theatre of Tel Aviv and of course there was a most memorable visit to the old town of Jerusalem, home of three religions.

The Messenger would like to express its utmost gratitude to all the people its Editor-in-Chief met in Israel: Zvi Magen from the Institute of National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University, the staff of the Bureau of Strategic Affairs, the Director General of the Camera Theatre and others, but in particular Olga Slov, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel Eurasia Departmentís Division for Central Europe and Eurasia, who took care of the group of visitors.

Editor-in-Chief of The Messenger Zaza Gachechiladze extends his personal gratitude to Israeli Ambassador to Georgia HE Itzahk Gerberg for giving him this chance to visit Israel.