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brownwaits.jpgGov. Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign an economic development, research and trade agreement at a meeting of the two leaders next week in Mountain View, Brown's office said Friday.

The governor's office characterized the pact as "a historic agreement that expands California's partnership with Israel on economic development, research and trade," but it offered few details ahead of the Wednesday meeting.

Brown's office said the agreement will emphasize "water conservation, alternative energy, cybersecurity, health and biotechnology, education and agriculture technology." It said the pact will also allow Israeli companies to access California's Innovation Hub program, a network of research parks, universities, federal laboratories and other groups.

Brown has taken a heightened interest in international relations since visiting China last year. But his interest in Israel is longstanding, going back to when he was governor in the 1970s and 1980s. In remarks welcoming Israeli President Shimon Peres to San Francisco in 2012, Brown suggested California and Israel could create a joint research program similar to a joint solar energy initiative Brown promoted when he was governor before.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown waits to address reporters after filing re-election papers in Oakland on Feb. 28, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders



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