Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the first time this week in an official capacity, meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The Foreign Secretary’s visit follows the normalisation of relations this month between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In his meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, Mr Raab said the: “Israel-UAE peace deal is a key step towards regional stability. With PM Netanyahu today I reiterated UK support for dialogue with Palestinians to achieve lasting peace through a viable two-state solution”.
He added: “We also agreed to deepen the UK-Israel cutting-edge tech and science partnership”.
Meeting with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi, the Foreign Secretary said: “The UK-Israel relationship is as strong as ever. I expressed Britain’s enduring friendship to Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi… We discussed the significance of normalisation UAE-Israel relations, and efforts towards greater peace in the Middle East”.
Mr Raab also discussed regional security with Defence Minister Benny Gantz where he “welcomed the recent suspension of annexation and reaffirmed UK commitment to the security of our friend, Israel”.
In the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, Foreign Secretary Raab met Israel’s new Ambassador to Britain, H.E. Tzipi Hotovely, and former Ambassador Mark Regev.
In the West Bank, the Foreign Secretary held discussions with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where he “underlined the UK’s friendship and support for a two-state solution and encouraged the Palestinian Territories to resume cooperation with Israel”, adding that it is “a key step in improving the situation in the West Bank and Gaza and securing peace in the Middle East”.
Meeting with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Mr Raab discussed how the UK can help the PA in the fight against the coronavirus, education links, and the £2.7m UK aid package for Palestinians.