(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Monday, 9 July 2012), in his office, met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
. The two discussed the importance of expanding cooperation between Israel and Europe in all areas, Iran's effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons and the resumption of the peace talks with the Palestinians.
Following the meeting, Israel and the European Union signed a cooperation agreement on research and development in the fields of energy and water. Energy and Water Resources Ministry Chief Scientist Dr. Shlomo Wald and European Commission Joint Research Centre Director Dominique Ristori signed for Israel and the EU, respectively.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I think this is a very important milestone in the progression of development between us. Israel is a technological country. Europe is our main trading partner. Europe is an advanced society; we're an advanced society. We're in a decade, in a century of innovations and the more we cooperate, the more it will benefit our societies.
European Commission President Barroso said, "We are now going to witness the signature of this important agreement, because it is also in one of the most important fields for Israel and European Union cooperation – scientific research and the technological field. I'm looking forward to deepening our good cooperation between Israel and the European Union in all fields. I took this occasion, of course, to express the European Union's commitment to Israel, to Israel living in peace. We are, as you know, in favor of a two-state solution. I really think it's a good moment to re-start some hope regarding the so-called Middle East peace process."