This is the first visit of a senior Israeli official since Britain issued arrest warrants against Israeli officials.

 Deputy FM Ayalon to visit the UK

 

Deputy FM Ayalon addressing the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (Photo: IISS)

(Communicated by the Deputy FM’s Bureau)

Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon will travel to London on Sunday, 7 February 2010, for the first visit of a senior Israeli official since Britain issued arrest warrants against Israeli officials in December 2009.

During his visit, Deputy FM Ayalon will meet with the British Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Policy and Defense Issues, Simon McDonald, Minister of State for the Middle East Ivan Lewis, the Secretary of State for Defense and the Minister for Middle East Affairs in Britain’s shadow government.

At his meetings with senior British government officials, Ayalon will raise the subject of the arrest warrants, boycotts of Israeli products, delegitimization of Israel and the importance of actions to prevent Iran’s nuclear development.

During his visit, the deputy minister will speak at two leading British institutions – Oxford University and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

The Oxford Union is a venerable, prestigious institution that has hosted presidents and prime ministers from all over the world, including Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Dalai Lama. Oxford University is famous for producing future British leaders. Deputy FM Ayalon will deliver his speech on Monday evening, 8 February.

At the respected think tank IISS, Ayalon will lead a public brain-storming session on Monday, 8 February, in which senior researchers and members of the Diplomatic Corps in London will participate.

The visit takes place against the backdrop of anti-Israeli sentiment among some sectors in Britain, and represents an attempt to present the basic elements of current Israeli policy.