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Israel Hayom | 14 February 2020
Israel asks UK to include Judea, Samaria in future free trade agreement
by Ariel Kahana
PM Netanyahu and Economy Minister Eli Cohen appealed to the British government to include Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem in the free trade agreement between the two countries, which will come into effect with the completion of Brexit – Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union – in 2021.
The draft trade deal, drawn long before London finalized Brexit, states that the new bilateral agreement would include the same terms as the free trade agreement between Israel and the EU. But the latter excludes Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights from the agreement, and Israel is seeking to correct the situation.
Economy Minister Eli Cohen has approached his British counterpart colleague, Conor Burns, and asked him to revise the trade agreement.
In the letter, obtained by Israel Hayom, Cohen writes, "I seek to raise an issue that is of personal importance to me. Most of Israel’s free trade agreements, such as the agreement with the United States, apply to the State of Israel, which is wherever the law applies. Meanwhile, the EU makes territorial distinctions as to what it considers the State of Israel.
"Given the friendly relationship between the countries, I would like to suggest that we adopt the wording that applies to most of Israel’s trade agreements, rather than the wording of the agreement with the EU. "
Cohen also spoke with Burns on the issue, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have discussed the subject with British Premier Boris Johnson.
The British Embassy in Israel was unavailable for comment.