Among the numerous bilateral pacts Israel and Germany are set to sign at their annual government- to-government meeting on Tuesday is one that will enable Israeli youths to work for up to a year in the central European country.
The program will be reciprocal, and German youths will have the opportunity to do the same in Israel.
Under the plan, young adults aged 18-30 can apply for the visas and look for work to help them pay for travel or gain experience in a particular field.
Israel has a similar work-visa arrangement with New Zealand, a country that attracts many youths on post-army treks.
Berlin is a magnet for many Israelis. An estimated 20,000 are working there, attracted by the flourishing economy and relatively low cost of living for a major European city.
Another agreement to be inked with Germany on Tuesday is a 50-million- euro program for joint projects in Africa.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the program will provide a way for Israel to make significant inroads into Africa. The framework was established at the Israeli- German government- to-government meeting last year.
Another agreement to be signed will allow Israelis traveling or doing business in a country with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties to avail themselves of German consular services where necessary. For instance, one Foreign Ministry official said, if Israeli tourists in Indonesia run into distress, they will – after getting permission from the Israeli foreign ministry – be able to turn to German consular services there for assistance.
According to one official in Jerusalem, with Israel and Germany marking 50 years of diplomatic ties next year, each of these agreements illustrates the trust and closeness of that bond.
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