President Herzog meets British PM Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street

November 24, 2021 by Gil Tanenbaum - TPS
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President Isaac Herzog met the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday.

PM Boris Johnson and President Isaac Herzog outside Number 10. Photo by Koby Gideon/GPO

Herzog was welcomed at the iconic entrance of the British Prime Minister’s official residence by Johnson himself. The two leaders held a diplomatic working meeting, during which they spoke with the press.

PM Johnson said, “It is fantastic to welcome President Herzog to London, we’ve known each other a long time. We are very proud that you should make this trip to the UK at an early part of your tenure, and we regard that as an important testimony to the strength of the relationship.”

President Herzog thanked the PM for hosting him. The President’s father Chaim Herzog, who was also the President of Israel, was born in the UK, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His grandfather served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland at a time when the country was still governed by the British. So, Herzog pointed to his familial connection to the United Kingdom.

“As you know my family history goes back in this land for well over a century, and we are honoured to have this unique relationship with the United Kingdom,” he said. “We are grateful to you for your great leadership, with the State of Israel, and for your moral clarity when it comes to the State of Israel and the Jewish People and fighting antisemitism.”

Herzog also complimented Johnson for his leadership at the recent UN climate conference COP26 which was held in Glasgow.

Boris Johnson thanked Israel for its participation in the conference.

Herzog also spoke about the threat from Iran and Hamas and how Britain just recently banned all Hamas related organizations. “So the final word I want to say is of course thank you for your resolution on proscribing Hamas,” he said, “this is a very important message to terror organizations and global radicals trying to undermine the situation in the Middle East. And finally, as you enter your negotiations with the P5+1 {the 5 UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) on the Iranian nuclear situation, we are looking forward to our allies in the P5+1 to be as tough as possible because we do not believe that they are operating in a bona fide manner, and only if all options are on the table may things move in the right direction.

Johnson agreed with the President’s comments. “I want to echo quite strongly those points and first of all on Hamas, I think it is the right decision,” he said. “It was a difficult and controversial decision but I think the right thing, and by the way, a decision that I think was almost immediately vindicated by the appalling incident that we saw in Israel. Terrible, terrible thing. And your point about Iran is also well-made, and we see a situation in which the world doesn’t have much time.”

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