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TEL AVIV, November 2 (Itar-Tass) — “People’s diplomacy” between Russia and Israel is developing. Tourist flows between the two countries have been record high this year, Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister of the Jewish state, said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass the full text of which was published in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Friday.
Lieberman described relations between Russia and Israel as genuine and sincere.
“It’s not that everything is smooth and problems never emerge. There are all these things. There are different approaches, there are disputes and misunderstanding. But if we need to define the nature of our relations in two words, I would say that these relations are just sincere,” Lieberman said.
The Israeli foreign minister said that the main task of any state was not to hinder normal development of relations. According to him, the best achievements are made in the sphere of human relations. He used a popular term of “people’s diplomacy”: relations among people, old friends and relatives are extremely important in his view.
“A record figure has been reached this year: about 700,000 tourists from Russia have visited Israel and hundreds of thousands of Israelis have visited Russia. Everything came in motion as soon as we did the main thing, i.e. cancelled visas,” Lieberman went on to say.
“The same must be true in other spheres. The most important thing for us is to understand that the government, the state and government bureaucrats are a hindrance. The less they interfere in this process, the better things will develop,” the Israeli foreign minister emphasized.
Lieberman praised the contribution of the Russian-speaking community to Israel’s development.
“Very educated doctors, engineers and economists came to live in Israel and it’s simply impossible to estimate their contribution to modern economy, sport, science and art,” Lieberman said.
“There’s no doubt that this community has made a colossal contribution and has brought colossal success and progress to Israel. Perhaps, Israel is the only country in the world outside the CIS where ministers fluently speak Russian behind the scenes,” Lieberman emphasized.