Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on his trip to Israel, made in an interview on Friday 10th March 1995.
[Mr Major was asked what he hoped to achieve during his Israel trip].
I think it is a visit that is overdue. It is the first visit by a British Prime Minister to Israel since about 1986, so I am looking forward to seeing the Prime Minister, I shall certainly see the President -
I think there are three or four different things we want to discuss. Of course, we shall want to discuss the peace process; of course, we will want to discuss the wider Middle East question; but I will also want to discuss bilateral relations and the tremendous opportunities that I think have opened up for improved trade and investment between our two countries and it is wholly with that in mind that I have such a distinguished collection of British businessmen going.
There are three points about the businessmen really; firstly, they are going. Secondly, the quality and size of the companies and the range of areas they cover; and thirdly, the fact that it is the very top businessmen who are coming, in many cases the chairmen, and I think that speaks very highly of the changed atmosphere and the changed opportunities for the future so I am very optimistic it will be successful.
[Mr Major was asked what would Britain offer to the peace process?].
I look forward to discussing it at length both with the Prime Minister and with Chairman Arafat in Gaza. I don’t want to anticipate those discussions. I had the opportunity of discussing it with the Prime Minister just a few months ago most recently and Chairman Arafat I think at the end of December 1993. There are several things I will wish to discuss: of course, the political aspects, but I think there are several components.
It is a very difficult process, this peace process. They have travelled further down the road than most people imagined was possible. From time to time, they have road-