On behalf of the Governments of the State of Israel and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans have agreed today to begin preparations for the establishment of the bilateral Dutch-Israeli Cooperation Forum.The Forum’s objective is to strengthen bilateral relations by increasing cooperation in the field of innovation and by bringing together representatives from the business sector, academia, civil society and the government, and to explore new fields of possible cooperation. The Forum will explore specific areas of cooperation, such as innovation in water management, energy/gas, agriculture and IT/high tech. It will also provide an opportunity for consultations on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues at the political level.
The first meeting of the Forum will be held in Israel at the end of this year. It will focus on innovation in the areas of water management/technology and energy/gas. It will be launched by the Prime Ministers of Israel and the Netherlands, who will be accompanied by their respective Foreign Ministers and other relevant government ministers. Subsequent to this first meeting, the respective Foreign Ministers of Israel and the Netherlands will meet every other year in the context of the Forum in each country in turn.
Both sides have agreed to set up a joint preparatory team at the working level to help establish the Forum. The team will also be responsible for informing the respective foreign ministers on a regular basis about the progress made and the proceedings and outcomes of the Forum’s meetings. The precise format and composition of the team will be discussed and agreed upon in the coming weeks.
The Forum will provide ideas and contacts for more targeted, smaller-scale activities, which will be organised subsequent to its first meeting at the end of this year.