Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood visited Israel on 17-18 February for discussions with Israeli counterparts.
Mr Ellwood met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely, Leader of the Opposition MK Isaac Herzog and Leader of the Joint List MK Ayman Odeh, to discuss the peace process, Gaza reconstruction, shared regional security threats, including Daesh, and UK-Israel bilateral relations.
Mr Ellwood was briefed by Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesperson on Israel’s security concerns and challenges. He also met several British and Israeli companies operating in Israel to hear about the opportunities for developing commercial ties.
Mr Ellwood visited Netanya which is twinned with his own constituency of Bournemouth. He met a number of British expats at an event organised in conjunction with the Mayor of Netanya, Miriam Fierberg-Ikar, the Netanya Academic College and the Israel British Commonwealth Association.
Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood said:
“I have had a series of constructive meetings during my visit to Israel which covered a wide range of issues, including the current wave of violence and the need for both sides to make progress towards peace. For Israel, this includes improving economic conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, particularly in Area C. I also discussed shared security concerns and reiterated the UK’s strong condemnation of terrorist attacks wherever and whenever they occur.”
“I met with British and Israeli business leaders who impressed on me the opportunities for companies in both our countries to do business. Our trade figures are at record levels and partnerships in technology and science continue to flourish. The reality of the UK-Israel bilateral relationship is one of rapidly strengthening links on trade, defence, tech, education, universities and science. This is the best response to those who call for boycotts.”
“I was particularly pleased to visit Netanya, which has been twinned with my own constituency of Bournemouth since 1995. It was a pleasure to share a platform with Netanya Mayor Miriam Fierberg-Ikar and meet a number of British expats who told me about living in such a vibrant and fascinating country.”