Netanyahu to meet UK Prime Minister in London

Netanyahu will meet UK’s Prime Minister next week when both leaders will discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and enhancing the bilateral relationship between the two countries.  

Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) Mark Regev announced on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting his British counterpart Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday of next week.

“Pleased to announce Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will be in London on Monday for his first meeting with PM Theresa May,” Regev tweeted.

During the meeting, May is expected to convey her government’s adamant opposition to Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

“I would expect the prime minister to set out the government’s position that we think that the continued increases in settlement activity undermines trust,” said May’s spokeswoman. “Our focus is on how do we make a two-state solution with an Israel that is safe from terrorism and a Palestinian state that is viable and sovereign work.”

“(May) will also be clear we realise and recognise settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict,” the spokeswoman added.

Prime Minister May’s spokeswoman made similar remarks when she critiqued US Secretary of State John Kerry for giving a speech on December 28 that focused only on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as a problem in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex,” May’s spokeswoman said then. “The settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict.”

May’s spokeswoman stressed however, that the primary purpose of Monday’s meeting between Netanyahu and May was to further enhance the UK-Israel relationship and cooperation on an array of issues.

“The priority for this bilateral is the bilateral relationship between the UK and Israel and how we work together on a range of shared challenges, not just looking at the Middle East peace process but also things that affect us both – the situation in Syria, the nuclear threat from Iran,” she noted.

“I think they will want to talk about how do we strengthen the bilateral relationship, particularly looking at trade and progress made in recent years particularly linking up on innovation and technology,” she continued.

The spokeswoman added that Israel and the UK are also investigating ways to enhance trade between both countries following the UK’s “Brexit” from the European Union (EU).

“But also one of the things they talked about on their call in August was how do we develop a freer trading relationship once the UK leaves the EU,” she added.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News