The growing international threat of militant Islam, diplomatic relations between Israel and the Palestinians and advanced cooperation in technology were the main issues discussed between the Israeli and British leaders.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting with his British counterpart in London on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for joint action on several fronts.
“I want to say here in 10 Downing Street and reaffirm again that I am ready to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no conditions whatsoever to enter negotiations, and I’m willing to do so immediately,” Netanyahu stated at the start of the meeting with British Prime MInister David Cameron.
Netanyahu said the two leaders would discuss pertinent issues related to global security and technological development.
“The Middle East is disintegrating under the twin forces of militant Islam: the militant Sunnis led by ISIS [the Islamic State terror organization] and the militant Shiites led by Iran,” Netanyahu said. “And I believe that we can cooperate in practical ways to roll back the tide of militant Islam both in the Middle East and in Africa altogether.”
Regarding mutually developed technological projects, the Israeli premier explained that “the future belongs to those who innovate. Britain and Israel are two great centers of technology. Israel is a global hub of innovation, especially in cyber security. And I think that if we pull our resources together we can offer a better future and great prosperity.”
Not least among other issues discussed was the regional implications of the nuclear deal with Iran. Britain is one of the six powers that signed the agreement with Tehran, which Israel vehemently opposes.
Notwithstanding any disagreements between the UK and Israel, Netanyahu and Cameron both hope to advance cooperation on several matters, including the civil war in Syria, the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip and the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s arrival in London was met with extreme hostility by anti-Israel activists. Over 100,000 people had joined an online petition urging the UK to arrest Netanyahu on alleged war crimes.
The Israeli embassy called the petition a “meaningless publicity stunt.”
Approximately 400 protesters gathered outside of 10 Downing Street on Wednesday to protest Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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