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19. 7. 2017 22:15

Prime Minister Sobotka talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on cooperation in security, science and health

Předseda vlády Bohuslav Sobotka jednal s předsedou vlády Státu Izrael Benjaminem Netanyahuem, 19. července 2017.
Negotiations of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 19 July 2017.
At the end of the Summit of the Visegrad Group Prime Ministers in Budapest on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka met his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu. It was already the fourth personal meeting of the two Prime Ministers.

According to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, relations between the Czech Republic and Israel are above standard, as evidenced by regular Czech-Israeli intergovernmental consultations. The last ones took place in Jerusalem in May 2016. The prime ministers agreed to hold the next meeting in Prague in 2018.

For the Czech Republic, Israel is also a strategic partner for the Middle East.

The main topic of the meeting was strengthening mutual cooperation between the Czech Republic and Israel. In addition to business cooperation, the Prime Ministers discussed, in particular, other joint activities in the fields of science, research and innovation, defence and security and health.

Israel is the third largest non-European export market for the Czech Republic. In 2016, exports to Israel grew by 36% and trade reached a record almost 29.7 billion crowns. This is mainly attributable to Škoda and Hyundai. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka described the modernisation of transport, especially the railway infrastructure, as a great opportunity for the development of mutual trade relations.

An important point of discussion was defence and security cooperation, including the exchange of defence technologies. At present, the Czech Republic and Israel are negotiating an agreement to supply MADR 3D radars for about 200 million euros. Israeli radars should become a key element of the Air Defence System of the Czech Army.

Collaboration in science, research and innovation with Israel is at a very high level. The first Czech scientific female diplomat, who has been operating in Israel since October 2015, is also contributing to it highly. In healthcare, the Joint Statement on Health and Medicine Cooperation for the years 2014-2019 has contributed to the cooperation. Important areas include allowing Czech medical devices to be imported into Israel.

At the summit of the Visegrad Group and Israel today, the prime ministers discussed, inter alia, relations between the European Union and Israel, the Middle East peace process, migration, terrorism and economic cooperation.

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