Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has met the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in Downing Street where a new UK-Israel trade deal and the threat from Iran were high priority.

Sunak also took the opportunity to express “his solidarity with Israel in the face of terrorist attacks in recent month,” adding, “the UK would always stand with Israel and its ability to defend itself.”

The British PM also indicated that he will be visiting Israel at the earliest opportunity.

In a statement issued by Downing Street after the Friday morning meeting, the two leaders welcomed the UK-Israel 2030 Roadmap, which was signed by the two country’s respective Foreign Minsters earlier in the week. The landmark agreement “will drive our bilateral relationship forward and commit £20m in funding for joint science and technology projects over the next decade.” The two leaders were also said to have “expressed their backing for a modern free-trade agreement with cutting-edge service provisions and said their teams would work to progress this at pace.”

On Iran, the two leaders discussed the UK and Israel’s “significant concern about Iran’s destabilising activity” and agreed to work closely together to “push back against aggression and manage the risk of nuclear proliferation.”

It was added:“The leaders discussed shared security and defence challenges, including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the threat posed by Iran to regional stability.

“The Prime Minister set out the UK’s analysis of the situation in Ukraine and the importance of continued international support to defend their sovereignty.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to London comes amid political instability at home after a backlash over judicial reforms. Downing Street stopped short of criticising the proposals, saying that the Prime Minister, “stressed the importance of upholding the democratic values that underpin our relationship, including in the proposed judicial reforms in Israel.”

After expressing solidarity with Israel in relation to recent terror attacks, the statement also mentioned the growing “international concern” over tensions in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), which they claim is “undermining efforts towards a two state solution.” It also, “encouraged all efforts to de-escalate, particularly ahead of the upcoming religious holidays,” however it was unclear whether this message was intended for Israel, which continues to conduct counter-terrorism operations in Judea and Samaria, or the Palestinian terror groups, which have been targeting innocent Israelis in recent weeks.

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.