Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres briefed in Ankara Wednesday, April 11, Turkey's Economy Minister Kemal Dervis on how Israel won its battle against inflation and put its economy in order in the 1980s, Anatolia news agency reported.
Following his meeting with Dervis, the Israeli foreign minister left Turkey. "It was a very fruitful meeting," Dervis told reporters. "Israel implemented a very serious economic reconstruction program in the 1980s when Mr. Peres was a prime minister. Today I got detailed information about this program from him," he added.
Turkey has been Israel's main regional ally since 1996 when the two signed a military cooperation accord, much to the anger of most Arab countries and Iran.
Dervis, a former World Bank vice president brought in as Turkey's new economy chief, is currently outlining a tough reform program to overcome severe financial woes that threw Turkey into renewed crisis in February.
Turkey's chronic inflation hit 39 percent last year. Experts say that inflation could reach some 40 percent in 2001, well above the government's pre-crisis target of 12 percent.
On Tuesday, Peres discussed the tense situation in the Middle East and bilateral ties with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)