Brussels, 21 May 2003
German State Secretary for Education and Research Uwe Thomas has welcomed the Competitiveness Council's approval of an agreement allowing Israel to participate in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), and has called for more Arab researchers to be involved in international cooperation.
Speaking shortly before a visit to Israel aimed at increasing the participation of industry in collaborative research projects, Mr Thomas welcomed the fact that Israeli researchers are seeking to cooperate with their Arabic neighbours, in spite of political unrest in the region, and disclosed that Germany intends to support joint projects carried out by Germany, Israel and its neighbours.
'Scientists are bridge builders in the long road to peace in the Near East,' said the State Secretary.
Mr Thomas claimed that Israel enjoys a climate open to innovation, research and risk, which makes the country an attractive partner on the international stage. He described Israel's participation in the Fifth Framework Programme as 'very successful'.