News story

PM welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu to Number 10

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Number 10 where the two held a working dinner.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Cameron stressed that Britain was a strong and unshakeable friend of Israel.

The PM also said that recent events such as the death of bin Laden and the Arab Spring mean that there is a “moment of opportunity” in the region.

…this is a moment of opportunity to continue the work to defeat terrorism in our world, to continue the expansion of democracy, civil rights and freedom across the Middle East and North Africa, and we also believe an opportunity to push forward the process of peace between Israel and Palestine.

Following their dinner a Number 10 spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister made clear in the meeting that Britain remained a staunch friend of Israel. Britain would continue to work closely with Israel to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon and on the wide range of regional security issues.

Prime Minister Cameron said we faced a moment of opportunity in the Middle East. He said that this strengthened the case for meaningful Israeli engagement in the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. Progress would help cement Israel’s long term security and reinforce prospects for democracy and moderation in the region.

The leaders discussed today’s announcement on Palestinian unity. Prime Minister Cameron said that any new Palestinian government must reject violence, recognise Israel’s right to exist and engage in the peace process, and that Britain would judge it by its actions.

The leaders also discussed plans for wider bilateral cooperation between Israel and the United Kingdom on economic and security issues.