An ELNET-led delegation of 20 French Members of Parliament from the Les Républicains Party, part of France’s opposition, visited Israel this week.
"We are excited to host this delegation of French MPs from [the] Les Républicains party," said Dr. Emmanuel Navon, CEO of ELNET-Israel. "This visit will provide an opportunity for the French MPs to gain a deeper understanding of Israel's political and security situation, as well as its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. We hope that this visit will help strengthen the ties between France and Israel and deepen our cooperation in various fields such as the new opportunities and challenges arising from the Abraham Accords and the war in Ukraine”.
On the trip, the French MPs visited the Knesset, met high-ranking Israeli officials, and spoke with MKs from both the coalition and opposition. The delegation also received briefings from security officials, meant to glean insight into Israel's tumultuous security situation. The MPs then met with Israel’s leaders in innovation, including start-ups and energy solution companies. These visits gave the French leaders crucial context about Israel’s challenges and accomplishments, enabling cooperation on security and innovation.
“ELNET's trip was very helpful for us parliamentarians as we see things from afar most of the time,” MP Pierre-Henri Dumont told The Jerusalem Post. “Thanks to ELNET, we got to meet IDF officials, politicians, and most importantly citizens that spoke to us and shared their own view and gave us another perspective.”
Second French delegation to visit Israel over the past three months
This trip marks the second French delegation to visit Israel over the past three months, highlighting ELNET’s emphasis on maintaining a productive relationship between the two countries.
CEO of ELNET-France Dr. Arié Bensemhoun explained, “ELNET sees the partnership between Israel and France as of [high] strategic importance, rooted in shared democratic values, common security concerns, and a long history of cultural and scientific cooperation, and their partnership is crucial for stability and progress in the Middle East and beyond.”
The previous French delegation to Israel was made up of MPs from President Emmanuel Macron’s majority group, whereas this group was made up of members of the opposition. Both of these opposing French groups had productive, cordial meetings with both sides of the Israel Knesset––the majority and the opposition. Therefore, no matter who controls the government in either country, relations between the two should persist.