London Mayor Boris Johnson arrived in Israel on Monday (9 November) in a bid to boost London's economic ties with the region. The Mayor will begin his visit in Tel Aviv before travelling to Jerusalem and Palestine's city of Ramallah.
During the three-day trip Johnson is expected to meet senior Israeli politicians and business leaders, as well as the former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres. On his first day in Israel, the Mayor visited the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, where he is believed to have promoted trade ties between the financial capitals of the UK and Israel.
Ahead of his visit, Johnson said: "The mission is to showcase London and everything that we're doing on the tech side and see what partnerships we can build up with that area that is famed now for its fizzing culture of technological start-ups. And obviously to showcase London as the number one financial, cultural, tech, and indeed scientific city in Europe."
The London Mayor also met with his Tel Aviv mayoral counterpart, Ron Huldai in Beit Ha'ir. A photo on Johnson's Twitter page showed the pair together, with the caption indicating that they would be discussing "growing trade cooperation between our two cities".
"We think there is huge, huge scope for progress, partnerships and commercial opportunities," said Johnson. The Mayor is accompanied on his trip by 15 London tech start-ups in an attempt to showcase local talent and secure partnerships with Israeli counterparts. It is also believed that plans to bring 20 Israeli start-ups to the UK will be announced during the Mayor's visit to Tel Aviv's Google campus.
Johnson is also reported to be laying a wreath during a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. He will also be meeting with Palestine's first female governor Laila Ghannam when he visits the Palestinian territories. The trip to Israel comes amid the Mayor's increasing attempts to boost London economic partnerships around the world, having visited Japan and China in recent months.