News story

PM meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: 6 February 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May met with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and discussed free trade, security and Iran.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu at Downing Street today for their first bilateral meeting and a working lunch.

In their discussions, the Prime Ministers committed to working together to build on our longstanding relationship and the strong ties that already exist between our 2 countries in a wide range of areas, from trade and investment, to innovation and technology, and defence and security.

They discussed their shared belief in free trade and agreed to establish a new UK-Israel Trade Working Group to continue the progress we have seen in our burgeoning trade and investment relationship, and to prepare the ground for a post-Brexit trade agreement. It was noted that Lord Price will visit Israel soon to take this forward. They also discussed opportunities to increase investment in research and development and technology, and strengthen partnerships in these areas between our governments, universities and businesses.

They talked about the important work we do together on intelligence-sharing and cyber-security, and committed to talk further about how we can deepen this co-operation, to help keep our people safe.

They also discussed a number of international issues. On Iran, the Prime Minister was clear that the nuclear deal is vital and must be properly enforced and policed, while recognising concerns about Iran’s pattern of destabilising activity in the region. They also talked about the Middle East Peace Process and the UK’s firm commitment to a 2-state solution as the best way to bring stability and peace to the region. The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s opposition to settlement activity.

As we prepare to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, the Prime Minister underlined that Britain remains a close and firm friend of Israel and reiterated our support for Jewish communities in the UK. She invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to attend events taking place in the UK to mark the anniversary in November, as a Guest of Government. He also invited her to visit him in Israel.