Agreements signed between the two countries included cooperation in agriculture, trade, economic development, culture and education
By World Israel News Staff
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the presidential palace in Kiev on Monday morning. An honor guard was present and the two countries’ national anthems were played.
“I am now leaving on an important visit to Ukraine at the invitation of the new president, Volodymyr Zelensky,” Netanyahu said in a statement to the press before his departure. “We have hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens from Ukraine who constitute a living bridge between the two countries, and the link between us is tightening.
“The president and I will discuss the establishment of a free trade zone and a pensions agreement, as well as a series of other issues that will further strengthen the excellent connection between the two countries,” he added.
The two leaders held a private discusses before proceeding to an expanded meeting that included Israeli Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.
The following agreements were signed:
* A cooperation plan between the Israeli government and the Ukraine Cabinet of Ministers on education, culture, sports and youth for 2019-2022;
* An MOU on agricultural cooperation between the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ukraine Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food;
* An MOU between the Israel Patent Office (Ministry of Justice) and the Ukraine Ministry of Economic Development and Trade;
* An application agreement on encouraging the study of Hebrew at educational institutions in Ukraine and the study of Ukrainian at educational institutions in Israel, between the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science.
“President Zelensky, Volodymyr, congratulations once again on your great victory. Your double victory,” Netanyahu told the newly elected leader.
“I noticed also that since you were elected, the growth rate of Ukraine has nearly doubled. I don’t think it’s [unclear]. I think it reflects the way people are impressed, the way that I’ve been impressed from this visit, upon your vision of a prosperous and peaceful Ukraine. And I look forward to working with you as we’ve discussed on advancing our common goal of peace and prosperity. I was here twenty years ago so I can see the changes that have taken place and also your desire to accelerate change.”
Invitation to Jerusalem
“I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to Jerusalem as president. We agreed it would happen next week. Well, it will happen soon and you are always welcome in our eternal capital,” Netanyahu said.
“We’ve made two decisions in this visit that I think can accelerate the seizing of these opportunities. The first is to immediately start working on the free trade agreement, which will be ratified right after our elections in our parliament, but to expand it to include investments. That means investments and services. There’s another word for that: hi-tech.
“The second is to open both in Kiev and in Jerusalem hi-tech development offices. What we would like to see is not merely the exchange of technology and the involvement of Ukrainians in our hi-tech industries. We’d like to see Israeli hi-tech investments, joint mutual investments here in the Ukraine. Not only do we not mind this, we encourage this.
“These two measures of the expanded free trade agreement and the opening of these offices in our respective capitals, I think will advance that very, very quickly.”
Netanyahu participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the Holodomor Victims’ Memorial.