From 7 to 9 December 2013, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories to launch bilateral cooperation forums with the two administrations.
He will be accompanied by Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. They will be joined later in Israel by Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs. Dutch trade delegations will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The bilateral cooperation forums will strengthen the Netherlands’ good bilateral relations with Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The overarching theme of both forums is about innovation, with the initial emphasis on agrifood, energy, and water. For the Palestinian Territories, digital technology is also important. As well as government bodies, the forums’ participants include businesses, research institutes, and non-governnmental organisations.
The Netherlands wants to use its good relations with Israel and the Palestinian Territories to contribute where possible to peace and security in the Middle East. The bilateral cooperation forums will be held once every two years, alternately in the Netherlands and respectively in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The Netherlands has similar cooperation agreements with France, Germany, and Poland.