UPDATE - UK, Israel sign '2030 roadmap' deal to deepen tech, trade, security ties

UPDATE - UK, Israel sign '2030 roadmap' deal to deepen tech, trade, security ties

'On trade, tech and security, our two countries are taking full advantage of these opportunities,' says James Cleverly

ADDS STATEMENT FROM UK FOREIGN OFFICE; REVISES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen signed the 2030 Roadmap for Israel-UK Bilateral Relations in London, according to a statement Tuesday.

"The 2030 Roadmap will deepen cooperation across tech, research and development, security and cyber," said the Foreign Office in the statement.

Cleverly welcomed the "flourishing" bilateral ties between the two countries and said that £20 million ($24.4 million) of joint funding commitments in technology and innovation which were part of the multi-million-pound programs announced in the roadmap will enable both countries to remain at the "forefront of the technological revolution."

"Noting the need to de-escalate tensions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the foreign ministers agreed on the importance of upholding the historic status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem," the statement noted.

The two ministers also discussed other issues, including Russia's war on Ukraine.

On Iran, the foreign ministers discussed “deepening our security and defense co-operation to counter the threat posed by the regime.”

Earlier Tuesday, Cleverly said the UK and Israel share "a close and historic friendship."

Cleverly, who shared a photo on Twitter with Cohen, said: "On trade, tech and security, our two countries are taking full advantage of these opportunities."

The developments came ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's arrival in the UK on March 23.

As part of an official visit, Netanyahu is expected to meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London.

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