Liz Truss, 46, Britain’s Secretary of State, and Yair Lapid, 58, Israel’s Foreign Affairs minister, have unveiled their new “memorandum of understanding”. The agreement is set to be signed on Monday and it will facilitate the UK and Israel working closer on issues including trade, defence and cybersecurity.
The two ministers wrote in the Telegraph: “We believe that a democracy rooted in freedom – which empowers citizens with the opportunity to innovate, create and fulfil their dreams – is the finest form of government.”
The joint agreement will ensure Tehran never gets hold of nuclear weapons.
Ms Truss, who became the Foreign Secretary following the latest reshuffle in October, and Mr Lapid added they will work to stop Iran getting hold of nuclear weapons. “We will also work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power.
Talks between world powers and Iran regarding the 2015 nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on Monday following a five-month hiatus, however, expectations of a breakthrough are low.
Israel and the UK have a trading relationship worth around £5 billion.
The two ministers continued: “The clock is ticking, which heightens the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions.”
“Many fear the skies are darkening worldwide due to the pandemic, the threat of terrorism and hostile actors seeking the upper hand. But we believe that with the right approach, freedom and democracy will prevail over malign forces.
“That is why Israel and the United Kingdom are today coming together in London to take a major step forward: transforming our close friendship into an even closer partnership by formally agreeing a new strategic plan for the next decade spanning cyber, tech, trade and defence.
“This pact will spur technological breakthroughs which have the potential to change the world, create high-quality jobs in both our countries and provide tools to our security forces. But more than that, it is a victory for optimism.
“Our great nations can do so much more to create jobs and fuel economic growth. Our recovery from the pandemic will be fuelled by free enterprise, free trade, and investment.
“We have built up a trading relationship worth £5 billion, led by companies like Rolls-Royce supplying jet engines to Israel’s national airline and the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva now providing one in six of the NHS’ prescription medicines.
“But our great nations can do so much more to create jobs and fuel economic growth. That is why we will pave the way to negotiating a bespoke UK-Israel free trade agreement, which would help us seize new opportunities in the industries of the future like services, science and technology.”
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Talks of a trade deal between the two nations are also expected to commence next year.