Minister of State for the Middle East Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP this week concluded a three day visit to Israel, underlining that the UK’s “relationship will continue to grow and benefit both of our nations”.
While in Israel, the Minister met with Israeli government officials such as Tzachi Hanegbi MK, Minister for Regional Cooperation, Michael Oren MK, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for extensive talks over issues impacting the UK-Israel relationship.
Minister Burt said: “The UK is a great friend of Israel and during this visit I have reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East. We will continue to work with and support those in Israel and beyond who want to achieve a viable solution”.
The Middle East Minister added: “We have a longstanding relationship with Israel and I have witnessed first-hand the strength of this partnership in many areas from trade and investment to technology and innovation”.
During the visit Minister Burt was also present at El Al Airlines’ launch ceremony of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane Ben Gurion Airport, which is fitted with British-made Rolls Royce engines, as part of the biggest trade deal to have ever taken place between the two countries (signed in 2016).
Only last month during Foreign Office questions in the House of Commons, Minister Burt condemned Palestinian “support for incitement and terror”, and assured MPs that the Department for International Development (DfID) is “looking extremely carefully” to ensure that aid to the Palestinians does not “go in the wrong direction”.
In a meeting with young high-tech developers, he was enlightened to find that a London-based initiative called Founders & Coders (free coding school) is expanding to Israel in a branch in the city of Nazareth.
The Minister continued his Middle East trip to Egypt to discuss British-Egyptian relations including economic trade, support to Egypt, tackling terrorism and combating radicalisation – saying it is important at this time to reinforce the cooperation between the two coutries who are facing a shared threat of terrorism.