Improving Australia-Israel Relations

May 27, 2011 Agencies
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Prime Minister Julia Gillard was handed three key recommendations for improving bilateral relations with Israel from the Australia Israel Leadership Forum (AILF) at a function at Parliament House on Tuesday night.

Albert Dadon and Prime Minister Julia Gillard p: Robert Nicki

The AILF, established in 2009 to improve bilateral relations, has called for a joint research and development fund to leverage the technical achievements of both countries. It has also recommended a feasibility study to eliminate blockages preventing a free trade agreement. And, in recognition of the two country’s security interests in the South East Asia region, has urged the establishment of a process for closer cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia to counter fundamentalist Islamist terrorism.

The function was also attended by Opposition leader Tony Abbott, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. The Israeli Ambassador, Yuval Rotem, was also in attendance.

Others in attendance included several MPs and Senators, many of whom were part of the Forum held in Israel last December, including government members Mike Kelly, Richard Marles, Bernie Ripoll, Senator Mark Bishop, and Michael Danby, as well as Opposition members Christopher Pyne, Kevin Andrews, Senator Mitch Fifield, Senator Brett Mason, Senator Guy Barnett, Steve Ciobo, Kelly O’Dwyer and Senator Scott Ryan.

Chairman and founder of the AILF, Mr Albert Dadon AO, said the recommendations followed discussions held at the Australia Israel Leadership Forum in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which was addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Dadon said Australia and Israel’s alliance stretched back to before the establishment of the Jewish state but more could be done to improve trade and security links, which were of vital interest to both countries.


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