President Isaac Herzog on Sunday flew to London for an official three-day visit that will include meetings with Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Herzog will also meet with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, British parliamentarians and Jewish community leaders.
During the trip, Herzog will urge the British to be more aggressive toward Iran, ahead of the resumption of talks on restoring the 2015 deal limiting Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The United Kingdom is a party to that accord.
“Israel cannot allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability and it expects its allies to be tough and assertive toward the Iranians,” Herzog said in a statement before departing. “Israel makes this position clear to all its friends and of course makes clear that it reserves all options to defend itself.”
He also hailed the British government’s decision last week to designate Hamas in its entirety as a terror organization and outlaw support for it.
“This is a supremely important step in the war on terror,” the president said.
After arriving in London, Herzog and his wife, Michal, will attend an event Sunday evening memorializing Jewish Olympians murdered by Nazi Germany.
On Monday morning, he will meet with the Prince of Wales, before heading to Westminster Palace for talks with UK members of parliament. He will then meet with Truss and later take part in a tribute to former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who died last year.
The next day, Herzog will sit down with Jewish leaders and then go to 10 Downing Street, the British premier’s office and residence, to meet with Johnson. The president and his wife are set to return to Israel on Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Johnson on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow earlier this month. The two spoke at length about Iran’s nuclear program, according to an Israeli official.