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January 11, 2019 10:52 am

Former Israeli Ambassador to China Calls for Scrapping Haifa Port Deal

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Cranes are seen at the port of the northern Israeli city of Haifa, April 23, 2013. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File. – Former Israeli Ambassador to China Matan Vilna’i has called on Israel to scrap an agreement to allow a Chinese firm to manage the Haifa port.

Vilna’i, who served in that role from 2012-16, told The Jerusalem Post: “We need to rethink the whole deal, and see how to go in reverse and move everything backwards.”

“There is no doubt that we need to deal with the Chinese on infrastructure, up to the point where there are Israeli security interests involved—and the classic example of this is the Haifa port because it is a national security asset,” he added.

Vilna’i also said that “it is crazy for the Chinese to manage an Israeli national security asset. It would be the same if it were an American firm, by the way, not just Chinese. A foreign country cannot manage an Israeli strategic asset.”

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The port deal was reportedly discussed between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who visited the Jewish state this week.

The Trump administration is concerned with the agreement.

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