Wednesday, 19 Jan 2022 - 17 of Shevat, 5782

Israel, UK sign 10-year cooperation pact, agree to ‘work night and day’ to stop Iran’s drive for nukes

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Israeli, U.K. foreign ministers hail the agreement, saying it will transform “our close friendship into an even closer partnership.”

Lapid arrived in London on the evening of Nov. 28 to “begin a round of diplomatic meetings, against the backdrop of the opening of nuclear talks in Vienna,” according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

 

By JNS

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his U.K. counterpart Elizabeth Truss signed a 10-year agreement on Monday to cooperate on cyber, tech, trade and defense.

Hailing the deal in Telegraph op-ed, Lapid and Truss said the agreement would transform “our close friendship into an even closer partnership.”

“As outward-looking, patriotic nations, we know that the best way forward lies in building stronger economic, technological and security ties with like-minded partners,” they wrote.

“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,” they added, promising that the partnership will help both countries maintain their leadership edge.

Lapid and Truss also addressed Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, promising the two countries would “work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power.”

“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,” they wrote.

Lapid arrived in London on the evening of Nov. 28 to “begin a round of diplomatic meetings, against the backdrop of the opening of nuclear talks in Vienna,” according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

‘Israel very disturbed by the willingness to lift sanctions against Iran’

At Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented on the talks in Vienna, saying: “Israel is very disturbed by the willingness to lift the sanctions and allow billions to flow into Iran in exchange for insufficient restrictions in the nuclear sphere.”

Maariv newspaper quoted a source close to Lapid  who said that he is very sceptical about the talks between the sides ultimately producing a new nuclear agreement. “The Americans also don’t know which direction things are heading; this state of uncertainty is a potential danger. It could very well be that the world powers may try to draw up a ‘chart’ of lifting sanctions in exchange for an artificial suspension of enrichment. That is a highly undesirable situation from Israel’s standpoint.”

Another factor for Israel is their increasing concern with the US negotiating position and US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley in particular.

Malley visited Israel last week and according to Yediot Ahronot he gave the impression “that the US would be prepared to appease Iran and that he would strive to return to the agreement, at any price”.

Lapid is scheduled to head to Paris on Tuesday to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.

European Jewish Press contributed to this report.

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