Britain Always At Israel's Side - Gordon Brown, PM
Britain always at Israel's side, Says PM Gordon Drown
Gordon Brown has promised that Britain "will always stand at Israel's side" in the first speech by a British premier to the Israeli parliament.
Speaking to members of the Israeli Knesset this morning, the PM said that the partnership between the two countries was getting "stronger and stronger" and pledged that Britain would support Israel as a "true friend" in all circumstances.
The PM said:
"And let me tell the people of Israel today: Britain is your true friend. A friend in difficult times as well as in good times; a friend who will stand beside you whenever your peace, your stability and your existence are under threat; a friend who shares an unbreakable partnership based on shared values of liberty, democracy and justice. And to those who mistakenly and outrageously call for the end of Israel let the message be: Britain will always stand firmly by Israel's side."
Mr Brown emphasised the importance of recognising the Holocaust and teaching younger generations about places such as Auschwitz - a scheme is already up and ruinning in the UK to send two pupils from every secondary school to visit the concentration camp each year.
On regional issues, the Prime Minister said it was "totally abhorrent" for the President of Iran to call for Israel to be "wiped from the map of the world". He also said that Britain was ready to "lead the way" on an economic road map for peace to help Palestinian regeneration.
Mr Brown has been on a three-day trip to the Middle East starting in Baghdad, Iraq and concluding in Israel today.