President Shimon Peres, this morning (Friday, 24 May 2013), met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. President Peres conveyed his condolences, and those of the State of Israel, for the attack yesterday in London. The two discussed the changes in the Middle East, ways to restart the peace process with the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear threat, the situation in Syria and strategic relations between Israel and Britain.
President Peres began by saying, "I'm really glad to see you here, you made your positions extremely clear on the major issue, on Iran, on terror, on the need to move forward with the peace process and we feel your friendship and understanding. I think our relations are in a good shape and I'm glad you added scientific cooperation to it. Trade and investment between our two countries is flourishing. Your visit is timely and important. In spite of all the difficulties the time is right for peace. I can see positive developments on our side, on the Palestinian side and on the Arab side. I think that Arab Initiative is a departure from a strategy of war to a strategy of peace, which is important. I see that quietly things are moving." President Peres expressed his condolences for the attack in London and said, "I want to express our sympathy to the family of the soldier who was so brutally killed. We know what it is like and our hearts are with you. I sent a letter to Her Majesty expressing our sympathy and support."
Foreign Secretary Hague addressed the peace process and said, "It is a crucial time in the entire region with the Iranian nuclear program, the tragic situation in Syria and our hope that we can through supporting Secretary Kerry and his work really help to make some decisive moves forward for permanent peace. The United Kingdom will do what it can to assist with this process, in the hope that all the great opportunities of this region can be fully realized in the next generation."
Foreign Secretary Hague also addressed relations between the two countries and said, "You are right that relations are good. There is a tremendous amount of very good bilateral work going on. I was very pleased to sign the agreement yesterday, the memorandum with the Minister of Science on expanding our cooperation , our academic and scientific cooperation, in this case particularly in the field of regenerative medicine and there are plans to do more in nanotechnology and space science. It's a very exciting part of our bilateral relations."