Australian Federal MPs have descended on Israel to meet with leaders and discuss economic opportunities.
Excerpted from The Australian:
Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is leading the Australian delegation to the Australia Israel UK leadership dialogue this weekend, holding bilateral meetings with senior Israeli ministers to expand trade and economic links.
Also attending the dialogue are former prime minister Tony Abbott, Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith, Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles, who enjoyed an early morning jog around Jerusalem.
“Australia and Israel enjoy a deep friendship, underpinned by historical ties and shared values, reinforced by the contribution of our Jewish community to Australia’s social, cultural and economic profile,’’ Mr Ciobo said.
“The Dialogue will be an opportunity to reaffirm these ties and discuss our common interests in peace and prosperity. In addition to participating in the Dialogue, I look forward to holding bilateral meetings with senior Israeli Ministers.
“Australia is keen to expand bilateral trade and economic links and co-operation with Israel, particularly on innovation and technology.
“We are working on initiatives to strengthen the economic relationship, including the innovation ‘Landing Pad’ in Tel Aviv, treaties for co-operation on innovation, science and research and a double taxation agreement.”
In a statement Mr Shorten said: “The annual Dialogue brings together political leaders from both sides of politics – as well as business, media and community leaders – to discuss the challenges specific to the region, and the challenges we share in our own parts of the world.
“Israel is a longstanding and close friend of Australia. Through decades of conflict and peace, economic challenges and prosperity, Australia and Israel have stood together.’’
The Dialogue includes discussions with Israeli parliamentarians and officials, Palestinian leaders, meetings with local technology start-ups, and symposiums on the future of the Middle East.
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