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    ISRAELI VICE-PREMIER TO DISCUSS COOPERATION IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND DIAMOND IMPORTS

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 12 (RIA NOVOSTI)-Ehud Olmert, the Israeli deputy prime minister and minister of industry, trade and communications, will meet on Thursday with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. On the same day, Mr. Olmert will also hold talks with Communications Minister Leonid Reiman.

    The plenipotentiary minister of the Israeli embassy in Moscow Edward Shapira reported that the sides will focus on the two countries' cooperation in the sphere of telecommunications and Russian diamond imports.

    Israel purchases 50% of the untreated diamonds in the world. "Russia is an important supplier. Talks are planned to be held in Moscow between the Israeli delegation and the Russian State Precious Metals and Gems Reserve and the Alrosa company," Mr. Shapira said.

    He also pointed out that recently trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Israel has been actively developed. In 2003, the trade turnover made up almost $800 million.

    Mr. Olmert will also take part in the Russian-Israeli seminar on cooperation in the field of telecommunications. Representatives of 40 major Russian and Israeli companies are also taking part in the seminar.

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