Israel’s Netanyahu to Visit London For Talks With May

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during a trilateral meeting in Jerusalem to discuss eastern Mediterranean oil and gas with the Greek prime minister and the Cypriot president on December 8, 2016. / AFP / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit London next week for talks with British counterpart Theresa May, the two governments said on Thursday.

Netanyahu’s office said he would travel to London on Sunday and meet May on Monday morning before flying home later in the day.

A spokeswoman for May said the two leaders would “talk about a range of security and international issues, including the Middle East peace process.”

She said the prime minister would raise Britain’s concern about how the “continued increase of settlements activity undermines trust.”

There has been a sharp acceleration in Israeli settlement expansion plans since US President Donald Trump took office last month, with more than 6,000 new homes announced in less than a fortnight.

British Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood warned on Wednesday that the plans made the two-state solution “much harder to achieve.”

Britain voted in favour of a UN Security Council resolution passed in December demanding a halt to settlement construction. The vote prompted Israel to temporarily scale back relations.

But Britain refused to sign the final statement of a Middle East peace conference held in Paris last month that was strongly opposed by Israel.

It said it had “particular reservations” about the meeting taking place without Israeli or Palestinian representatives.


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