Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to his residence in Jerusalem, during which the two leaders announced a historic bilateral agreement that effectively removes all trade bureaucracies between the two countries. In a joint press conference ahead of the signing ceremony of the free-trade-agreement, Netanyahu underlined the significance of the 1,500-page deal that is merely a first step in bolstering cooperation between Kiev and Jerusalem. The Israeli leader said, “Today we’re going to do something that will make it grow even bigger. We’re about to sign a Free Trade Agreement. We’ve worked on this for many years. The bureaucracies have had all the opportunities to prevent this from happening. We overcame it.” / “As you can see from the size of it, it’s enormous. It’s 1,500 pages, so a lot of effort went into every detail. During your visit we will also talk of other ways to increase our cooperation in a variety of fields – in technology, in health, in aerospace, in science and more.” The Ukrainian President, on his part, thanked Prime Minister Netanyahu for Israel’s staunch support of Ukraine’s defensive and economic needs, and echoed the Israeli leader’s statement, by hailing the new ‘free-trade-agreement’ as a foundation for future cooperation between the two countries. According to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, “We learn how to defend our country from Israel, and to make a strong army. We learn how to make prosperity for our people, make a strong economy, from Israel. And I think this is a very successful blessing. / “This is a historic in the relations between Israel and Ukraine. And a historic day because we absolutely remove all the barriers in our economic ties, and I want to congratulate you and thank you for this effective cooperation.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of battling “the force of militant Islam” which threatens those that seek to seize the future, by saying: “As we seize the future, we must also work together to advance first innovation, technology, industry – that’s the future – but also to work against the forces that wish to drag us into the past, because we’re a part of the same civilization. And this civilization values freedom, liberty, and it values peace. And it’s under attack today, most notably by the forces of militant Islam. The most potent force of militant Islam is the Iranian regime. It is devouring one nation after the other – Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq – and it’s killing civilians around the world.” In connection with the need to thwart Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East, Netanyahu referred to the massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian forces in Syria and vowed to continue to take all necessary actions to protect the people of Israel and defend the country’s borders. “Yesterday, the Iranian regime launched a missile from Syria targeting civilians in Israel. We responded to this unacceptable act of aggression by striking Iranian targets in Syria. Israel will continue to block Iran’s efforts to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel for the express purpose which they openly declare: destroying Israel. No country should stand aside while its destruction is being planned or advanced. And Israel exercises its basic right of self-defense and preemptive self-defense, a right that exists for every nation. We will continue to take all the necessary actions to protect our people and defend our borders, and we will continue to respond with force to anyone that tries to harm us,” Netanyahu stated.