Visiting mayors from the United States said Thursday they're interested in joint projects with Israeli concerns, following a tour of leading biotechnology companies.
At a lunch on the final day of the 25th annual Jerusalem mayors' conference, the mayors said they were impressed with Israeli high-tech industry and would encourage some companies back home to set up partnerships with them.
"I did not understand coming in the extent of the biotech industries in this part of the world, and we also have an economy increasingly based on biotech and high-tech industries," said David Cieslewicz, mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. "It's a relationship we can really build on."
The mayors also said the trip was an eye-opening and a powerful lesson in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "When you are a young person seeing and hearing about a lot things that have gone on in this region - in the news - you have one perspective," said Mark Mallory, mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But when you come here and you visit and you talk to the people and you see the areas, you have another."