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UK FM vows to ‘build strongest-ever relationship’ with Israel

UK British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on 5 April 2017 [File photo]
Former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson on 5 April 2017 [File photo]

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has promised to strengthen relations between the UK and Israel in his official greeting to Jews in celebration of the Jewish New Year, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“New Year is also a time to make resolutions and I am going to share three of mine with you,” he revealed.

Bear down on the scourge of anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad, build the strongest ever relationship between the UK and Israel and celebrate the UK’s Jewish community, a community that has made an enormous contribution to British society.

Johnson also referred to boosting ties with Israel especially in the light of significant upcoming anniversaries in the Israeli occupation, namely the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in November and the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence in May next year.

“Marking these anniversaries is an opportunity to show not only is our friend Israel here to stay, but that the UK and Israel are going to continue to work together, to grow together and to thrive together.”

Read: PA education minister briefs British delegation about Israeli violations

The foreign secretary is just the latest British politician to reinforce the strength of the UK-Israel relationship. Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May called Israel a “remarkable country” and expressed her desire to proudly celebrate the role the UK played in creating the Balfour Declaration.

Just days before, British Cabinet member Sajid Javid also announced at the World Jewish Congress that the UK would honour the upcoming anniversary. He went on to emphasise the UK government’s intolerance towards any form of boycott against Israel and outlined the steps that have been taken to counter peaceful opposition to the occupation.

The UK has maintained close diplomatic, trade and security ties with Israel since its inception, and is counted upon by Israel to vote in its favour at the UN and other international institutions. The relationship has been observed by some to have strengthened under the leadership of Theresa May, as the UK looks to bolster relations with countries outside the EU following Brexit.

Read: Jerusalem delegation to Britain raises the plight of Palestinians

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