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Israeli Minister: Building trust among people in the B&R region

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

05-15-2017 12:20 BJT

By Li Shouen, CCTV.com Panview editor-in-chief;Feng Siyao, CCTV.com Reporter

In an interview with CCTV.com after President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14, Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister of Regional Cooperation, also Acting Minister of Communications, shared his insights.

Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

CCTV.com: How do you feel about the summit?

Mr. Hanegbi: Three years ago, I was the Deputy Minister of foreign affairs, I led this strategic dialogue between the two countries. This is the first time we are asked to be part of the “Yi Dai Yi Lu (Belt & Road)” Initiative. This was discussed and agreed upon three years ago, from this point, I feel like the father of a baby.

It is a big big thing, and I was responsible for one small achievement which is Israel’s involvement and I believe we can become the essential and important partner when it comes to innovation, technologies, and the issues that Israel is capable of.

CCTV.com: Have you watched President Xi’s speech?

Mr. Hanegbi: Of course. The speech was very exciting. What I saw is a leader that is committed and focusing on changing not only his own country, but also the humanity in his entirety, the region that being connected between China, Africa, Europe and Middle East, the areas do need stability and economic progress. The vision that President is reflecting is most inspring.

CCTV.com: What’s your expectation on Israel’s industry cooperation with China in the future?

Mr. Hanegbi: We believe that we are “an island of sanity” in the region that is in flames. It is falling apart due to religious controversies, violence through terrorism, so we think we can be a bridge between China and more pragmatic forces in the region. We can help them.

China, with its amazing knowledge of infrastructure, Israel is dominant in innovation, together, the cooperation for both countries can be relevant to fair parties. This is our hope.    

CCTV.com: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned the overall cooperation between Arabic countries and Israel can promote peace in the Middle East. How do you view this?

Mr. Hanegbi: Yes, sure. We have two accords signed decades ago, very positive, in Egypt and Jordan. It certainly helped enlarge our peaceful relations with Palestinian, the Gulf states and North Africa states, including Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco.

I think since all these countries are going to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative, it can help us to find common denominator and work together towards building trust among the people. Once we trust, peace will come.

CCTV.com: So with better economic ties and more connectivity, peace and prosperity will come to this region, right?

Mr. Hanegbi: Of course, we need to think the big words: Innovation, connectivity, stability and translate them into specific projects that will touch upon the people in the area. They have to learn they are the fruits to the peace, not only slogans, or big events or beautiful speeches; the real benefits will certainly change their life.

We believe that this is the next phase that is already happening in other areas, like Pakistan and other countries that are already part of the B&R. But it hasn’t reached in our region yet, so we believe that our involvement and readiness to cooperate will bring practical translation of this initiative.
(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)


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