Israel and the European Union on Monday held their first diplomatic-strategic dialogue meeting in more than 10 years.

“This is the forum that will allow us to advance economic ties between Israel and the EU and strengthen our fight to lower the cost of living in both Israel and Europe. This Council has not convened in over a decade—for the wrong reasons,” said Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement saying the meeting will also advance several projects, including supporting Israeli companies and their collaboration in ventures with European funding; signing a data roaming agreement that will dramatically reduce communications costs; securing arrangements that will allow for the export of organic agricultural products to Europe; and adopting standards that will lower product prices.

The meeting was attended by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and foreign ministers from other countries. Among those present were the Cypriot defense minister and the Irish minister for European affairs.

Borrell said, “We will also deal with one issue of particular importance for us, which is the Middle East Peace Process. Prime Minister, we are very encouraged by the clear support for the two-state solution that you stated in your speech to the United Nations General Assembly.”

He added, “We are—however—also concerned about the continued tensions and violence on the ground and the continuation of unilateral measures, such as settlement expansion, and the security issues.”

JNS

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