Tonight I am travelling to Jerusalem to participate in the 5th Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue.
The annual Dialogue brings together political leaders from both sides of politics – as well as business, media and community leaders – to discuss the challenges specific to the region, and the challenges we share in our own parts of the world.
Israel is a longstanding and close friend of Australia. Through decades of conflict and peace, economic challenges and prosperity, Australia and Israel have stood together.
Our friendship is made stronger by Australia’s remarkable Jewish community – amongst the most significant and influential contributors to our national success.
The Dialogue includes discussions with Israeli parliamentarians and officials, Palestinian leaders, meetings with local technology start-ups, and symposiums on the future of the Middle East.
This year we meet in the shadow of Shimon Peres’ recent passing – a giant of Israeli and global politics, and a tireless advocate for an enduring peace.
A secure and lasting peace in the Middle East eluded Peres. Let us all do what we can to support the right of all who call this region home to live in peace with one another.
I will be accompanied on this trip by Shadow Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, and my wife Chloe.
FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2016