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Israel’s UK ambassador praises Rock’s tolerant society, signals greater economic cooperation

Israel’s UK ambassador praises Rock’s tolerant society, signals greater economic cooperation

Opportunities for greater economic cooperation between Gibraltar and Israel were among the key topics discussed by the Israeli ambassador to the UK during an overnight visit to the Rock this week.

Mark Regev was in Gibraltar at the invitation of the Jewish community to mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, but took the opportunity too to meet with political and business leaders.

Speaking to reporters at the end of his visit, Mr Regev celebrated Gibraltar’s tolerant society and its close links to Israel, which he hoped would continue to strengthen.

“There are interesting economic opportunities for Israel and Gibraltar to work together on,” he said, adding that he would work to strengthen those links.

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“There is already a growing Israeli community in Gibraltar as Israeli business people see these opportunities.”

“We’d like to see the expansion of economic cooperation. It can only be good for both our communities.”

He added: “Ultimately, we’re on the very eastern edge of the Mediterranean, you’re on the very western edge of the Mediterranean and by expanding the business links between Gibraltar and Israel we’re hoping we can make both our economies stronger.”

As Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Mr Regev has followed closely the debate about Brexit, both in the run-up to the referendum in 2016 and in the politically-turbulent months since.

But he was reluctant to offer his views on the subject, not least because the Israeli Government has not issued a formal public position on Brexit.

The ambassador nonetheless signalled Israel’s firm commitment to ensure continued trade with the UK after it withdraws from the EU.

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