50 Conservative MPs attend CFI lunch with new Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev in Parliament

By May 10 2016, 17:50 Events, Latest News No Comments

20160510_124520 (2)Today in Parliament, 50+ Conservative MPs attended CFI’s welcome lunch for the new Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mark Regev.

At the lunch, chaired by CFI Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, parliamentarians were addressed by Mr Regev and were given the opportunity to ask him questions.

Among MPs to attend were Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood MP, Health Minister Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP and Home Office Minister Richard Harrington MP.

Also in attendance were Nobel Peace Prize winner Rt. Hon. Lord Trimble PC, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and Deputy Ambassador to Israel, Eitan Na’eh.

Ambassador Regev spoke about the forthcoming Israeli Independence Day, stating that “we in Israel do not take independence for granted”.

He underlined that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called for peace talks with the Palestinians, “anywhere and anytime, with no preconditions whatsoever”. He noted that Mr Netanyahu made this commitment most recently last week and has previously invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet with him in Jerusalem.

Ambassador Regev told MPs that many Arab states are “re-evaluating their relationships with Israel” as they face mutual enemies including ISIS and Al Qaeda.

He asserted that Israel is “building coalitions against extremism” with a number of Arab states, and that this “could lead to us building coalitions towards peace”.

The Ambassador dispelled the myth that the root cause of unrest in the Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead stating that conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya have dominated discourse in the Arab world.

Answering questions from a number of MPs, Ambassador Regev praised UK-Israel trade figures which have doubled under Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood, as well as discussing a range of issues and raising his concerns over the nuclear deal with Iran.

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