British Prime Minister Theresa May greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at No. 10 Downing on Monday afternoon, saying she was happy to welcome him as both countries commemorate 100 years since the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
Small pro- and anti-Israel demonstrations greeted Netanyahu there as well.
May, in brief remarks, said that Britain remains committed to a two-state solution.
Labour party head Jeremy Corbyn, who did not seek a meeting with Netanyahu during his 24-hour visit to London, has urged May to say that Britain stands “unequivocally behind the rights of the Palestinian people, along with the many who support them in Israel.”
May made clear in her comments that the two countries have many areas of cooperation. She also said she will discuss the situation in Syria and Iran with Netanyahu.
Netanyahu, who said before leaving Israel that standing up to increasing Iranian aggression in the region would be one of the main topics of discussion in London, praised US President Donald Trump for reinstating some sanctions on Iran, and said he expected other countries to do the same. He said Iran publicly threatens to destroy Israel, and is engaged in one provocation after another. The prime minister stressed that Israel has not given up on its yearning for peace, and will discuss that as well with May, saying that along with the current challenges in the region, there are also opportunities.
Netanyahu told May that he has two portraits in his office, one of Theodor Herzl, and the second of Winston Churchill. Those two leaders, he said, embody the common values that make possible great trade, technology and security cooperation between the two countries.
Trade is expected to loom large in the talks, with Britain keen on developing strong partnerships in the post-Brexit era.