Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Netherlands to organise forums for cooperation with Israel and Palestinian Territories

The Netherlands is to set up forums for cooperation with Israel. This has been agreed by foreign minister Frans Timmermans and prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel. Today, Mr Timmermans will forge a similar agreement with the prime minister of the Palestinian Territories, Rami Hamdallah.

The forums are a tool for shaping relations between the countries involved. The Netherlands already has similar partnerships with other countries with which it enjoys good relations, such as France, Germany and Poland.

Innovation is to be the overarching theme of the forums for cooperation with Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In the first round, which is scheduled for the end of this year, the focus will be on water and energy. Besides the respective government authorities, the forums will also bring together businesses, knowledge institutions and NGOs. The forums will be held every two years, alternately in the Netherlands and in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Mr Timmermans and Mr Netanyahu voiced their countries’ concerns about the nuclear programme and human rights situation in Iran, as well as developments in Syria. They also talked about the United States’ efforts to smooth over the Middle East peace process. The same topic was discussed yesterday evening by Mr Timmermans and Tzipi Livni, the Israeli minister with responsibility for the peace process.

Today Mr Timmermans is meeting various Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including President Shimon Peres, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.