JERUSALEM, Dec. 12 -- The governing council of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of accepting Israel as its full member, making Israel become its first non-European member, said CERN in a statement.
Israeli scientists have been participating in CERN's programs since 1991, and the country has been its an associate member since 2011.
The full membership will allow Israeli researchers to be greater involved in CERN and the Israeli industry could bid for all CERN's tenders, said Eliezer Rabinovici, an Israeli scientific delegate at the CERN council.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman hailed the resolution made by CERN, saying that it is a "day of pride for Israeli science" and an "impressive achievement for Israeli diplomacy."
For his part, Rolf Heuer, CERN director general, congratulated Israel, saying in the statement that the country's "scientific community has brought a great deal to CERN over the years."
CERN, located in Geneva, Switzerland, is the home of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator.