AILF founder meets Israeli PM
Albert Dadon AM, the founder of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, met Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday to hand over a policy paper outlining three key recommendations to strengthen further the bilateral relationship between Australia and Israel.
"The Prime Minister read the proposal with interest and was most interested by the solutions proposed by the Forum," said Mr Dadon AM, who attended the meeting with the PM along with Ronit Tirosh MK, a member of the AILF.
"While the distances are vast, the friendship is close, and the policy paper is an attempt to buttress this decades-old alliance between such far-flung friends."
The policy paper by the AILF, which was established in 2009 to improve bilateral relations, calls for a joint research and development fund to leverage the technical achievements of both countries.
It also calls for a feasibility study to eliminate blockages preventing a free trade agreement.
And, in recognition of the two nation's security interests in the South-East Asia region, the paper urges the establishment of a process for closer cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia to counter fundamentalist Islamist terrorism.
The policy paper was the outcome of the last Australia Israel Leadership Forum, held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last year, which was addressed by Mr Netanyahu.
The meeting with Mr Netanyahu comes one month after Mr Dadon AM handed the policy paper over to Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a function at Parliament House in Canberra, which was also attended by the Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, as well as a host of other MPs and Senators.