On 18-19 June Hugh Robertson, the UK's Minister for the Middle East, visited Israel for the third time as Minister for the Middle East
Mr Robertson condemned the kidnapping of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah and said his thoughts were with their families. He met Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of Intelligence, Minister of International Relations and Minister of Strategic Affairs and discussed Israel’s response to the kidnap and security concerns.
He also visited a football co-existence project sponsored by the British Embassy, met the Mayor of Nazareth, and discussed issues affecting Israel’s Arab community.
Commenting on the trip, Mr Robertson said:
“I discussed the security situation with Minister Steinitz and reiterated the UK’s strong condemnation of the abduction of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank, and expressed our hope that they will be back home soon. I said that for the sake of the Israeli and Palestinian people, I hoped that both sides could avoid escalation.”
“It was encouraging to see the flourishing Israel/UK partnership first hand. Whether it is in tech, science, trade or education, the UK and Israel are forging links that we are excited about. I was delighted to meet leaders and young entrepreneurs from Israel’s Arab community, and witness a football match between Jewish and Arab children: demonstrating the importance of sport in promoting peace and co-existence.”