JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel became a full member of the prestigious European nuclear physics lab CERN.
In an official ceremony held Wednesday in Geneva, Israel became the 21st country to join and the first non-European member state of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman attended the ceremony and watched as Israel’s flag was added to the line of flags representing the member states of the organization
“Israel is committed to the advancement of science and technology for the good of mankind,” Lieberman said in his address, according to Haaretz. “As such, it is committed to being part of the international scientific community and to contributing to cooperation among the developed countries.”
The laboratory, known for its giant underground atomic collider, the Large Hadron Collider, is located in Switzerland. Israeli scientists have collaborated with CERN for many years, including on projects involving the collider.
Israel became the first associate member of CERN in September 2011 after the council voted to expand its membership. Israel’s formal association with CERN began in 1991, when the country was granted observer status in recognition of the major involvement of Israeli institutions in the lab’s OPAL experiment, and to the running of the Large Electron Positron accelerator.