Who said that Turkey isn't sweet on Israel? Next week Israel will host the second joint Israel-Turkey bee growers' convention. The first convention was held in Antalya, Turkey last year and received a great deal of interest from both countries – 800 participated.
The Israeli convention's organizers feared that the tensions between Israel and Turkey would lead to a lack of response and interest in participating in this year's convention. But much to their surprise, the Turkish Foreign Ministry is sponsoring the convention and sending hundreds of Turkish beekeepers and experts to Israel.
The convention is part of the scientific and economic cooperation whose groundwork was laid with the cooperation agreement signed last year between Israel and Turkey.
The intention was to improve the quality and safety of beehives for the benefit of the consumer and improve the way regional problems in the field are dealt with. Problems like bee disappearance, the appearance of the dwarf honey bee (Apis Florea), bee diseases and pollination, all out of recognition of the importance of bees to regional agriculture.
The convention is organized by the Israeli and Turkish Agriculture Ministries with the aid of the Regional Cooperation Ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, the Honey Council, the Israeli and Turkish Bee Growers' Association and both countries' Foreign Ministries. The convention will be held this year with tensions between Israel and Turkey at their height and will bring together a who's who of the field from both countries.
Agriculture Minister Orit Noked welcomed the convention plans, saying that "the best way to relieve tensions between countries is by establishing economic cooperation and creating a basis for professional meetings for mutual benefit. I believe that the Agriculture Ministry, together with other ministries, has an important role in strengthening relations between Israel and Turkey."
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom said: "At this time of instability, regional cooperation like the cooperation exhibited in this project, is extremely important."
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