This afternoon, the Foreign Secretary William Hague met Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister for Intelligence and Strategic Affairs, with responsibility for International Affairs. Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:
We discussed a range of issues including the UK’s bilateral relationship with Israel, the Middle East Peace Process and regional security. We both welcomed the EU’s decision on 22 July to designate Hizballah’s military wing as a terrorist group.
I reaffirmed that the UK was strongly committed to Israel’s security, and that we wanted to deepen and advance our links in education, science and technology, where both countries had much to share and benefit from mutual co-operation.
I restated our warm welcome for Secretary Kerry’s announcement on 19 July that Israel and the Palestinians had reached agreement on the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations. I again commended the leadership shown by both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas and reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting them in their efforts to reach a lasting peace. I reiterated the UK position on settlements and EU guidance.
On Iran, we expressed a shared commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation. I said that the election of Hassan Rouhani was an opportunity for Iran to seek a new relationship with the international community by seriously addressing concerns about its nuclear programme. The UK is open to improvements in the bilateral relationship, but this requires concrete actions.
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