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Israel: Armed Forces

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what aspects of military co-operation were to have been discussed with the group of military officers from Israel whose proposed visit to the UK was recently cancelled. (311031)

The Israeli delegation planned to attend a joint Israeli-Kings College academic workshop. This was not at the invitation of MOD and, therefore, no official discussions of UK-Israel defence co-operation were planned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on how many occasions Israel Defence Forces personnel have been invited to the UK for discussions with (a) Ministers or officials of his Department and (b) members of the armed forces since 2005; and what topics were discussed; (311032)

(2) what areas of expertise of the Israel Defence Forces that have been shared with (a) his Department and (b) members of the armed forces.

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Israel is an important strategic partner of the UK and, as part of that relationship, the MOD has an ongoing and wide ranging dialogue with the Israeli Defence Force and Israeli Ministry of Defence. This engagement is in line with HMG's policy of supporting the Middle East Peace Process by having a balanced relationship with the Israelis and the Palestinians. Recent areas of discussion have included regional defence issues, the Middle East Peace Process, and the UK's role in training Palestinian Authority security forces. However, detailed information is withheld as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Israel.