TEL AVIV AND JERUSALEM (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Governor Greg Abbott is in Israel on an economic development mission.

The Governor is discussing opportunities with business leaders in Tel Aviv for Israel and Texas to collaborate on the advancement of the cyber security, energy, and robotics sectors and discussed the growing technology sector in Texas.

Governor Abbott also attended roundtable discussions with Israeli start-up companies currently doing business in Texas to learn more about the Israeli energy and healthcare sectors, as well as how these sectors impact Texas’ economic partnership with Israel.

The meeting is part of Governor Abbott’s week-long economic development trip to Israel and Switzerland.

“The technology being developed in the Lone Star State is changing the world in which we live,” said Governor Abbott. “Many businesses and start-ups that have contributed to this unprecedented success originate from the country of Israel and are pertinent to our continued prosperity. To continue this innovation renaissance, it is important that we attract new investments and cultivate an economic climate that maximizes opportunity for all who call Texas home.”

Governor Greg Abbott finished his first day in Israel by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Governor Greg Abbott visits with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Office Of The Governor, 1/16/20)

The Governor and the Prime Minister discussed the long-standing economic and cultural bond between Israel and Texas, as well as ways to strengthen this relationship in the future. This is Governor Abbott’s second time to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu — the two leaders met in 2016 when Governor Abbott visited Israel for a previous economic development mission.

“The unwavering bond between Texas and Israel is marked by our shared commitment to freedom and economic opportunity,” said Governor Abbott. “I am grateful to Prime Minister Netanyahu for his warm hospitality and for his enduring friendship. In Texas, we have worked hard to reaffirm our steadfast support of Israel, and I am confident that this relationship will continue to prosper in the years to come.”

Meantime, Israeli lawmakers on Monday approved the formation of a committee to consider Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request for legal immunity, a major setback for the embattled leader who is seeking to fend off corruption charges.

Netanyahu was charged in November with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three cases involving trading political and regulatory favors for positive news coverage, and accepting gifts from billionaire friends.

Netanyahu’s opponents make up a majority in the current caretaker parliament, and his request for immunity is expected to be rejected. Netanyahu has tried to delay the vote on immunity until after March 2 elections, when he hopes a more sympathetic slate of lawmakers will be chosen.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)