Israeli prime minister to hold talks with Theresa May next week

Israeli prime minister to hold talks with Theresa May next week
Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit 10 Downing Street next Monday for talks with British leader Theresa May.

Downing Street said Mrs May was expected to take the opportunity to restate Britain's concern that settlement building in the West Bank is undermining trust in the Middle East peace process.

But Mrs May's spokeswoman stressed this was expected to form only a small part of discussions, which will focus on the bilateral relationship between the UK and Israel, including the potential for increased trade following Brexit.

The February 6 meeting will be the first time the two prime ministers have met, though they spoke by phone in August last year after Mrs May's arrival at Number 10.

The Jewish Leadership Council "warmly welcomed" news of the visit.

Chief executive Simon Johnson said: "It is entirely appropriate that a meeting such as this between the leaders of two allies should be taking place. There are many ties between the two countries, and these should be strengthened.

"The complex nature of the challenges in the region and those faced by Israel in particular should be high up on their agenda."

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