MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a swing through the Silicon Valley to meet with high-tech leaders and sign a pro-business agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown.
During a meeting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the two emphasized their joint interests in cybersecurity, energy sources and water conservation, and suggested Israel — an arid country with a growing population — might be able to help California cope with its ongoing drought.
"California doesn't need to have a water problem," Netanyahu said. "Israel has no water problems because we are the number one recyclers of waste water, we stop water leaks, we use drip irrigation and desalination."
Brown said he would welcome their ideas.
"Israel has demonstrated how efficient a country can be, and there is a great opportunity for collaboration," Brown said.
Wednesday's visit follows Netanyahu's meetings with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Monday and his appearance Tuesday at the Los Angeles premiere of a television documentary that features him.
This is the first California visit from an Israeli prime minister since 2006, and Netanyahu planned stops at Stanford University, Apple Inc. in Cupertino, as well as a meeting with WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, a Jewish Ukrainian immigrant who sold his company to Facebook Inc. for $19 billion last month.
The agreement the leaders signed follows on several decades of commitments from California and Israel to promote trade, research and economic development.
"The best brains in the world are in Silicon Valley and Silicon Wadi," said Netanyahu, referring to Israel's tech startup region. And he asked Brown to help get direct flights between San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu also took a moment to talk about the reports Wednesday of an interception of an Iranian arms shipment to the terrorists in Gaza.
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