The United Kingdom and Israel will invest millions of pounds in new bilateral projects enhancing economic, hi-tech and scientific cooperation, Prime Ministers David Cameron and Benjamin Netanyahu announced today in London.
Following the meeting, a Downing Street spokesperson said:
“The two leaders welcomed the growing economic ties between the UK and Israel, particularly the progress that had been made since the PM’s visit in a number of areas, including research and science, with an additional £3 million of new funding for bilateral medical research projects in 2017.
“They agreed that cyber security was a vital issue, and that it had to be considered both in terms of threats and opportunities. They agreed to collaborate further, with a new package of co-operation covering training and joint exercises to prepare against cyber attacks. The UK will send a cyber business delegation to Israel in December to further strengthen this co-operation.
“On the Middle East, both leaders reiterated their commitment to a two state resolution as the only way to secure lasting peace in the Middle East, and the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of improving daily life for the people of Gaza, for example through better power and water supplies and facilitating travel in and out of Gaza.
“They also discussed the threat of Islamist extremism and agreed that both political and economic security was required for long term peace, and pledged to continue to work together to support fragile countries in North Africa.
“On Iran, they recognised that while there were differences in their approach, both shared the objective of greater stability in the region, and agreed that it was in the interests of all that Iran allowed regular inspections of its nuclear facilities.”
The new projects include:
- Agreement on a new Cyber cooperation package that further deepens excellent UK Israel cooperation. The agreement covers cyber skills training in schools, attack preparedness, support to PM Netanyahu’s Convention in November 2016, and a UK industry and academic cyber mission to Israel in December.
- £3 million pounds of new funding for bilateral medical research projects in 2017 under the BIRAX programme. The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX), created by the British Embassy and the British Council in collaboration with the Pears Foundation, brings together British and Israeli scientists to tackle some of the world’s most dreadful diseases. At least seven joint research collaborations will receive the new funding. To date the British Council has raised over £10 million for BIRAX research that focused on cardiovascular and liver disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
- A new agreement on transport security, giving a framework for British and Israeli experts to cooperate more closely to combat crime and terror targeting transport systems.
- Earlier this week, Israeli companies visiting South Wales announced three million pounds of investment, which will create 100 jobs and £13 million spent with local suppliers.