Holness said: “Jamaica, like Israel, is a strong democracy, and we have long admired the advances that Israel has made in technology, in particularly in cyber security and in agriculture, and in other areas. The potential for cooperation between our two countries is great and Jamaica is very interested in exploring those areas of cooperation.
“The Jamaican people and the Caribbean region is a zone of peace, and we wish peace for all the peoples of the world. And we do extend our sympathies to the people of Israel for the very unfortunate attack on your soldiers recently.
“We would want to also pursue with Israel economic cooperation. I believe that in building strong economies we can build a peaceful world.”
Netanyahu’s remarks were: “I think this is the first visit ever by a prime minister of Jamaica to Israel, so it has a double significance for us.
“Our relations are always friendly. We appreciate the fact that you didn’t join the recent vote against Israel, the absurd vote in UNESCO. But quite beyond that we’re talking about extending our cooperation. We just did for just a brief few minutes that we spoke; I can see all the potential for cooperation in a variety of fields that relate to economy, to security, to technology. This is something that we eagerly are interested in doing with you.
“There is a natural affinity between us. We’re both democracies. We each have our own challenges but we flourish under challenge. And we’ll be able, I think, top provide a better future for our people if we cooperate, and this visit is a hallmark of cooperation.
“You also invited me to come to visit you and I intend to do that sometime in the future, but I want to tell you how much we appreciate the fact that you’re here, and I look forward to our discussions.”
Prime Minister Andrew Holness today left the island for a three-day visit to the state of Israel. The Prime Minster will return to Jamaica on January 15.
The Working Visit arises from an invitation to Jamaica issued several months ago, and forms part of Prime Minister Holness’ ongoing commitment to seek opportunities for Jamaica through deepened bilateral relations with various countries.
In Israel, he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the two leaders are expected to discuss areas of potential cooperation on growth and economic development between both countries, such as security, agriculture, water resource management and Diaspora bonds.
Meetings will also be held with key Israeli officials and members of the private sector.
Through these engagements, Jamaica will seek to identify and capitalise on opportunities for collaboration and expanded exposure to best practices.
This aligns with the Administration’s drive to foster economic growth and prosperity through pioneering and sustainable policies.
Prime Minister Holness will be accompanied by representatives from the National Water Commission, the National Water Resources Authority, the National Security Council as well as the Economic Growth Council and Ambassador Nigel Clarke.