Cleverly and Cohen sign UK-Israel bilateral trade roadmap agreement

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Cleverly and Cohen sign UK-Israel bilateral trade roadmap agreement

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen sign agreement aimed at boosting economic, security and technology ties between the two countries until 2030

James Cleverly and Eli Cohen
James Cleverly and Eli Cohen

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen have signed a 2030 Roadmap for UK-Israeli Bilateral Relations aimed at boosting economic, security and technology ties.

But talks between the pair also included discussion on the recent spike in violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories along with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the threat posed by Iran.

Tweeting after concluding the roadmap Cleverly wrote: “Israel and the UK share a close and historic friendship. Today, Eli Cohen and I signed an agreement to deepen that relationship.

“On trade, tech and security, our two countries are taking full advantage of these opportunities.”

He had earlier stated:”The UK-Israel Bilateral Roadmap is a testament to the strength of our close and historic relationship.

“As we approach the 75th anniversary of UK-Israel relations, our Roadmap will allow us to fully take advantage of the opportunities in areas of mutual interest, including tech, trade and security.

“The UK and Israel also stand together, defiant in the face of the malign influence of Iran in the region, and against the wider scourge of antisemitism.”

The 2030 Roadmap for Israel-UK Bilateral Relations is an ambitious agreement that will ensure the partnership remains modern and continues to innovate to address shared challenges.

Adopting a thematic approach, the Roadmap 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.

New multi-million-pound programmes announced in the Roadmap, including around £20m of joint funding commitments on technology and innovation, will enable both countries to remain at the forefront of the technological revolution, the government said.

On Tuesday morning, Cohen tweeted:” I have just landed in the UK on an important visit.

“I will meet with my counterpart, British Foreign Secretary Cleverly, and discuss with him ways to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I’m also leading a delegation of fintech companies, with the aim of strengthening economic ties between the countries.

“Together with the Foreign Secretary, I will sign an agreement strengthening the bilateral relationship with one of Israel’s greatest allies.”

He later said he had met with members of the UK Jewish community.

The UK is also committed to working closely with Israel to tackle the scourge of antisemitism.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. Credit: GPO/Shlomi Amsalem

As chair for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2024, the UK will promote fact-based knowledge of the Holocaust and strengthen media and information literacy.

The UK-Israel relationship has already delivered benefits to both economies.

The trade relationship is worth around £7bn, and there are more than 400 Israeli tech firms operating in the UK.

Israeli investment into the UK drives growth and jobs, adding around £1bn gross value to the UK economy and creating about 16,000 jobs in the last eight years.

The Roadmap is the culmination of efforts that began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2021 to work more closely over the next decade on cyber, technology, trade and defence, which formally elevated the UK’s relationship with Israel to a “strategic partnership.”

Last year, the UK and Israel launched negotiations for a new free trade agreement, with a focus on innovation and the aim of upgrading the trading relationship.

The new trade deal, by lowering barriers and championing free trade, is a key priority for both governments.

Cohen’s visit comes ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrival in the UK on Thursday.

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