These are the words that World Zionist Organization Chairman Sallai Meridor said in an interview to PRAVDA.Ru - It is situated on the key Eurasian crossing, and Russian Jews play an important role in the life of the whole continent
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in Moscow for an official visitб which will mostly focus on talks with President Vladimir Putin. However, some aspects of the visit are beyond the traditional spectrum of summit talks. Ariel Sharon will also meet with the leaders of the Jewish community in Moscow. A state reception is to be organized in the Israeli Embassy in Moscow, where a delegation of the Eurasian Jewish Congress headed by the Secretary General Mikhail Chlenov, representatives of public, and religious organizations of Russian Jews, and science and art figures are also invited to take part.
However, it is less known that right before Sharon’s visit, the leaders of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel (Sohnut) and leaders of the factions in the Moria Zionist Organization headed by Secretary Seneral of the Eurasian Jewish Congress Mikhail Chlenov met in Moscow. Head of the Sohnut department for Eastern Europe and former USSR Amos Lahat, head of the Sohnut department in the CIS Karol Ungar,and other officials are also members of the Israeli delegation. Problems and perspectives of CIS Jewish organizations’ entry into the World Zionist Organization were on the agenda of the meeting. After that, the parties discussed preparation for Sharon’s visit to Russia.
Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Sohnut Sallai Meridor said in an interview to PRAVDA.Ru that Sharon’s visit to Moscow proves once again that Israel’s international policy covers a wide range of aspects under conditions of resistance to "Palestinian terror."
Sallai Meridor added that “Russia was and is a great world power situated on the key Eurasian crossing, and Russia’s Jewry plays an important role in the life of the whole continent.”
The leader of the World Zionist Organization has been an active member since 1977, and his opinion is rather influential. Sallai Meridor has been working at Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry for a long period; he also represents Israel's interests in North America. Therefore, he is in a close contact with Israel’s governmental establishment.
Mr. Meridor stresses that relations with Russian Jews are very important but not because of Russia’s geopolitical situation. “Many Israelis were born in the USSR, or are descendants of emigrants from the Soviet Union. For instance, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was born in the former Soviet republic of Belarus. And we are happy with Sharon’s recent decision was not to shut down Israel’s embassy in Minsk (Belarus).”
At the end of the meeting with Mikhail Chlenov, Eurasian Jewish Congress Secretary General and Shairman of the World Zionist Organization and Sohnut Sallai Meridor thanked the congress for its explanatory work, which helped to keep the Israeli embassy in Belarus open.
In his turn, Mikhail Chlenov stressed that there was progress achieved due to mutual efforts on the eve of Ariel Sharon’s visit to Russia; he also mentioned serious problems that the CIS Zionist organizations face while working in the World Zionist Organization. Vladimir Malkin
Photo: Mikhail Chlenov, Eurasian Jewish Congress chairman
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/30/47724.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969