Photo by Kobi Gideon
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Monday, 30 October 2017), in Jerusalem, held a working meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Following the meeting an MOU on bilateral security cooperation was signed. Defense Ministry Director General Udi Adam signed for Israel and Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan signed for Australia. The MOU encourages cooperation between the new countries' security industries including in innovation. It also includes articles on strengthening inter-governmental ties and the exchange of information regarding opportunities and approaches in the security industries.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"I want to say how pleased we are on you visit, historic visit, on the historic occasion of this tremendous centennial that will celebrate tomorrow in Be'er Sheva.
It highlights, as does our meeting that we've just ended, the extraordinary friendship between Israel and Australia.
We just signed a defense industry agreement. It reflects our commitment to defend our common values of freedom, of democracy, of the rule of law, pluralism. These are values that are under attack by various forces. We cooperate in every way to safeguard our peoples and safeguard our civilization.
We are pursuing and have discussed the possibilities of cooperating in areas of technology that are changing our world, creating vast new opportunities. Australia is one of the most developed countries in the world; Israel is one of the most developed countries in the world, and together we can do a lot more.
I have to say that we have admired the fact that Australia had taken part virtually, I think, in all the battles for freedom in the last 100 years.
I told you that the first meeting between our peoples actually took place before Be'er Sheva, in Gallipoli when the first Jewish fighting forces fought alongside their Australian counterparts in Gallipoli. That didn't go so well, Be'er Sheva went better.
And the impression that Australian soldiers left on the Jewish community here in the land of Israel at the time was lasting – tremendous sympathy, the informality, the warmth, the shared values that you so well described a few hours earlier when you spoke about this.
This is all true, this is something that creates a sympathy, an identification in a friendship that is real.
I know that people think that all international relations are guided by interests. Of course they are. but when interests cohere with values there is something special. Interest coheres with values in the relations between Israel and Australia.
The fact that you came here, half way around the world, you can't really get further away than the distance between Israel and Australia. The fact that you came here, I think, signifies that friendship.
I'm very proud to have been the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Australia. I'm delighted you are here, a second time, a second time a Prime Minister visits Israel.
I think the future portends great things for both our countries which are really one in values, so welcome friend."
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)