Israel, UK set to sign major roadmap for bilateral ties on economy, security, tech
Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will sign a major agreement this afternoon setting the agenda for bilateral economic, security and technology ties.
According to the Foreign Office, the 2030 Roadmap for UK-Israeli Bilateral Relations “contains detailed commitments for deepening cooperation across the breadth of the Israel-UK relationship, including on trade, cyber, science and tech, research and development, security, health, climate and gender.”
A particular focus will be placed on technological innovation, with around 20 million pounds of joint funding committed in the agreement.
London, which will chair the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2024, also commits in the agreement to work closely with Israel.
The process of laying out the nature of the bilateral relationship began in November 2021, almost two years after the UK left the European Union. Then-foreign minister Yair Lapid signed a memorandum of understanding with his British counterpart Liz Truss, saying that it would lead to a free trade agreement, increased security cooperation and joint development of high-tech projects.
The Foreign Office press release says that the two diplomats will discuss “countering the current threat from Iran and tackling Iran’s destabilizing and malign activity in the Middle East,” as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Abraham Accords.
Cleverly will bring up the UK’s concerns about rising violence in the West Bank, and “the need for all parties to take steps to deescalate and end the cycle of violence.”
The UK statement does not mention the ongoing domestic fight over the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul.