UK Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan
UK Ambassador to Israel Neil WiganIsrael National News

British Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan thanked Israel for its efforts to mediate an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

In a briefing to journalists Tuesday, Ambassador Wigan stated: “We appreciate the Prime Minister’s efforts to explore what scope there is for ending this conflict with Russia. Israel has probably the best relationship with both countries of any democracy. As for the chance Bennett's efforts will succeed? It depends on Putin, and whether he really wants to stop the war and find a diplomatic solution."

“Bennett is the first leader to have sat down with Putin for three hours since the war began, which is a major achievement. It was the beginning of a process. I don’t think anyone was under the impression it would stop the war the next day. The question is whether Putin is open to a diplomatic solution. It is important to try to stop [Russia’s] attacks via diplomacy and that is exactly what Bennett tried to do, while keeping the Ukrainians in the picture,” he said

On the UK-Israel defense relationship, he said: "The Defense Secretary will arrive in Israel in the near future for the first visit in 26 years [since 1996]. It is part of a British move to strengthen security ties with Israel. After Foreign Minister Lapid signed a strategic agreement between Israel and the UK, we are interested in taking concrete steps forward. Post-Brexit Britain is interested in developing deeper bilateral relations and in conducting our annual assessment in the field of foreign and security relations, and the State of Israel is a significant target for development and deepening of relations."

“This is because of Israel's impressive military capabilities in the advanced battlefield and the integration between the forces. We were interested in this and wanted to improve relations even before the Russo-Ukrainian war.”