image Photo: Koby Gideon (GPO)

UK Minister holds talks in Jerusalem

Israeli leaders held high-level meetings with visiting-British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in Jerusalem, with the agenda topped by bilateral cooperation on the coronavirus, Iran and the International Criminal Court.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed “mutual recognition of the ‘Green Passport’” with the United Kingdom’s diplomat, according to a statement TV7 received from the Premier’s Media Advisor, as well as the possibility of increasing cooperation in the research, development and production of vaccines against the coronavirus and against future viruses.”

Minister Gove, a senior member of the Conservative Party who is coordinating the UK government’s response to COVID-19, noted that Israel and Britain have had great success in their vaccination campaigns and that his nation is interested in learning from the Israeli experience in how to return to routine.

The two also agreed on moving forward on upgrading the bilateral free trade agreement, added the statement.

In separate talks, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi discussed regional matters, including current efforts in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States and Iran back to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

Iran is undermining stability in the entire Middle East and the international community must act to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. Not today and not in the future,” a Foreign Ministry statement cited Ashkenazi as underscoring.

Israel’s top diplomat also expressed gratitude for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s expressed concern over the controversial decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes.

Jerusalem will not cooperate with the ICC inquiry, and has rejected the court’s self-declared jurisdiction over Israel.