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UK, Israel to cooperate on telecommunications

Ministers agree to set up panel of experts to discuss shared challenges

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

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Britain and Israel will closely cooperate in telecommunications, setting up a regular dialogue of experts to discuss shared challenges in the area of telecommunications infrastructure. The agreement to set up this dialogue was taken by Britain’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey and Israeli Minister for Communications Moshe Kahlon when they met in Jerusalem yesterday.

During the hour-long meeting, the ministers shared their experiences of tackling issues such as broadband expansion, laying fiber-optic cables and regulating competition in the telecommunications market. The ministers agreed to set up a panel bringing together officials from the UK and Israel for annual discussions and to explore possible areas for future cooperation.

Minister Vaizey commented at the end of the meeting:

There is enormous potential for cooperation between the UK and Israel in telecommunications. Israel is responsible for a huge portion of the world’s innovation in telecoms. Britain has many of the world’s leading telecoms companies. Both our countries are tackling the same challenges of infrastructure and regulation. I am convinced that telecoms needs to be a key strand of the tech partnership between our countries that we are now building. I told Minister Kahlon that I will return to Israel in the next year to head up a delegation of British telecommunications companies to encourage joint collaborations with Israeli firms to make this a reality.

Minister Kahlon welcomed the meeting, and said,

There is undoubtedly enormous potential for cooperation between our two countries, which will lead to progress in the communications industries in both the UK and Israel. Working together will also help strengthen entrepreneurs and help develop new applications as well.

The dialogue will take place on an annual basis, under the umbrella of the newly-established UK-Israel Tech Council which is headed by Britain’s Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts and Israel’s Chief Scientist Avi Hasson.

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Published 6 March 2012