Can I say what a privilege it is for me to be here with President Peres thismorning, to be here with my wife Sarah, to be here with such an importantdelegation of British business leaders and I am delighted that they have allmanaged to come to Israel this weekend as we build even stronger relationshipsbetween our two countries over future years.
I have admired the work that you have done over many years. I was brought up onthe history of Israel, I know of the immense contribution you have made to thehistory of this country in the many roles that you have played over the lastfew decades, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to invite you to come tovisit the United Kingdom later this year in your capacity as President ofIsrael. And I hope that we can begin planning this visit very soon. That visit willbuild even stronger relationships between our two countries, tradingrelationships, commercial relationships, artistic and cultural relationshipsand educational relationships, and over the next two days I believe that wewill be able to sign new agreements between our two countries that willstrengthen both the trade and the cultural links that bind our two countriesvery closely together.
I am very pleased to be here also because President Peres and I have talked insome detail about what contribution we, from Britain, can make to the peaceprocess. And we want to work with you on that vision and we want to work withthe other countries so that we can make a reality not just of peace in thisregion, but a reality of prosperity.
Winston Churchill, one of our prime ministers, used to say that those who built the presentpurely in the image of the past will miss out entirely on the challenges of thefuture. And you have shown at all times a vision of the future, about how peoplecan cooperate together, on how economics can bind people together, that I believe is a compelling one that commands increasing support in this region.
So from this business delegation that you have welcomed today, to the politicalleaders in our country, we want to work with you and we want to work with your country so that we can build a prosperous and peaceful Middle East in the years to come.