Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 15 May 2015), met with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. Also participating from the Israeli side were Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin, Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz, Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman; participating from the Ukraine side were Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Education and Science Minister Liliia Hrynevych, Culture Minister Yevhen Nyschuk, Cabinet Minister Oleksandr Saienko, Welfare Minister Andrii Reva, Acting Healthcare Minister Uliana Nadia Suprun and Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister and Trade Representative Nataliia Mykolska.
Among the issues discussed was bilateral economic cooperation as well as cooperation in the fields of trade, technology, information and culture.
Ukraine Prime Minister Groysman invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit Ukraine; Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the invitation.
Israel and Ukraine signed the following:
1) A joint declaration regarding cooperation in preventing disasters and dealing with their consequences;
2) A plan for bilateral cooperation in health and medicine for 2017-2021;
3) An administrative agreement between the Israel Tax Authority and the Ukraine Fiscal Service on the exchange of statistical data regarding bilateral trade; and
4) The implementation of "Protocol A for the Construction Sector" between the Ukraine Social Policy Ministry and the Israel Interior Ministry Population and Immigration Authority pursuant to the bilateral agreement on the temporary employment of Ukrainian workers in specific sectors in the Israeli labor market.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"This is a moment of great friendship because there is a common history that binds Ukraine and Israel. Some of it is laced with tragedy, but it is also laced with hope and with sympathy.
You surely know that Ukraine was a source of much of the revival of the Hebrew language and Zionism. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the revival of the modern Jewish state without the Jews who came from the Ukraine: Bialik, Jabotinsky, the Speaker of our Knesset, Elkin, and hundreds of thousands who are Jews who came to Israel from the Ukraine and serve as a human bridge between our two countries and our two people. So I think this forms the basis of a great partnership.
We’re going to sign some agreements now with our ministers, and we recognize and value our past, but we also want to seize the future. We want to accelerate the negotiations on a free trade zone and to encourage more commerce, more tourism, more trade, more technology, technological transfers between our two countries, and it is all on our agenda.
But I would say the most important thing is friendship. You reaffirmed that friendship for us in the important vote in UNESCO, which sets our relations on a future course, which I deeply appreciate. I know your own personal involvement in this decision, and it's doubly appreciated. And I know your stance and the stance of the government against anti-Semitism, and that's triply appreciated.
So for all of these reasons, I welcome you warmly in Jerusalem. I look forward to our discussions."
Ukraine Prime Minister Groysman:
"As you said, we have a lot in common. We have common history, history that is laced with tragedies, but also with great events. And it is especially important as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our nations.
Israel is our strategic partners and we have many areas for our joint cooperation. Our trade you know is growing and we work hard to create the free trade area between our countries, and we have other potential areas for cooperation, such as the information technology, agriculture, healthcare, education and so on.
Today’s visit will yield good results, and the agreements that we are going to sign now will boost our cooperation in economy, and many other areas. And in particular, we want to see the increased tourism exchanges.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for this meeting, and I avail myself of this opportunity to invite you to visit Ukraine whenever the time is convenient to you."