On The Occasion Of Israel’s National Day

70th anniversary of Israel’s independence

70th anniversary of Israel’s independence

On behalf of President Trump and the American people, I offer best wishes and congratulations to all Israelis as you mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence on April 19.

The State of Israel has prevailed over every challenge it has faced over the past 70 years. In just a short time, the people of Israel have created a successful nation that has flourished and continues to thrive. The United States established our diplomatic presence in Jerusalem well before the State of Israel was born, over 170 years ago. This year, we look forward to opening the new Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem on May 14 which coincides with the 70th anniversary of President Truman recognizing the nascent State of Israel.

Israel and the United States have an unshakeable bond that has endured and grown even stronger over the past seven decades. As President Trump said in Jerusalem last May, “…let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people – and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for all.” The United States will continue to be a steadfast ally of Israel and will stand together with you today, and always.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach.

Speech: PM Opening Statement At First CHOGM Executive Session

Prime Minister Theresa May gave an opening statement at the first CHOGM Executive Session

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Good morning everybody, can I welcome you again to London, and welcome you to the first session of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

This is the 25th time the leaders of Commonwealth nations have gathered to address the great issues of the day – although for many of us, myself included, this is the first time we’ve attended as heads of government. So let me extend an especially warm welcome to all the first-time attendees, and in particular to President Adama Barrow, bringing The Gambia back into the Commonwealth fold. Welcome.

I’d also like to formally thank Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta for his work as Chair-in-Office. Your steady leadership delivered a very successful tenure, and it’s a pleasure to receive the baton from you at today’s meeting. Thank you.

It’s a meeting that takes place at a time of significant global challenges. The rules-based international system, which has consistently delivered both prosperity and peace, faces threats in many forms and on many fronts. Climate change and extreme weather continue to take lives and damage livelihoods across the Commonwealth. And the new opportunities afforded by the digital world have brought with them new risks, with our cyber security under attack from individuals and state actors.

All these issues and more will be addressed in a series of meetings over the next two days, both here at Lancaster House and in the retreat at Windsor.

The great strength of the Commonwealth is that all our members have equal status, an equal voice, and an equal right to make that voice heard. So as we tackle these challenges, I want to hear from everyone, and everyone will have chance to speak.

We face many challenges in the world today. But the Commonwealth is a unique organisation and, at this summit, we have an opportunity to deliver lasting change that benefits all of our 2.4 billion people. I’m looking forward to working with you all as we move the Commonwealth towards our common future.

UK Firms Announce £100 Million Investments In Pakistan

New investment by Unilever and Shell demonstrates UK commitment to Commonwealth trade

From right: Greg Hands, Rehman Chishti MP, Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas and Muhammad Pervaiz Malik during their meeting in London

From right: Greg Hands, Rehman Chishti MP, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas and Muhammad Pervaiz Malik during their meeting in London

UK Trade Minister Greg Hands and Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, welcomed the investment into fuel stations and manufacturing at a meeting in London. They were joined by the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan Rehman Chishti MP.

It follows Minister Hands’ visit to Pakistan in September last year where the UK and Pakistan confirmed their ambition to increase bilateral trade. The UK also confirmed its intention to maintain the preferential access Pakistan receives to the UK to support Pakistani economic growth after the UK leaves the EU.

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is planning on setting up around 100 new fuel stations along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route at selective locations representing up to £13 million of investment by 2020.

Meanwhile Global consumer brand Unilever will also invest £86 million in new manufacturing capacity at its 4 factories in Pakistan. This acknowledges the country’s high potential for long-term, sustainable growth, and highlights the increasing uptake of consumer goods products across the country.

Trade Minister Greg Hands said:

As the Prime Minister has made clear, the Commonwealth has a unique opportunity to boost its trade links and drive prosperity and growth among its members. Pakistan is a prime example of this, with its growing trade with the UK and investment powering economic growth.

Unilever and Shell are showing what UK companies can achieve in Pakistan’s growing market of 200 million customers, and the UK government is ready to help.

The UK is Pakistan’s biggest trade partner in the EU, with bilateral trade increasing 8% between 2015 and 2016 and 2% of all Britons tracing their roots back to Pakistan.

Greg Hands also reiterated the UK’s ambition to continue its preferential trade terms with Pakistan, supporting economic development, after it leaves the EU. The GSP+ scheme offers low tariff access to the EU in exchange for progress on human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and tackling corruption. This announcement comes as Pakistan joined 52 nations in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

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