OXFORD could twin with Palestinian city Ramallah after they both agreed to start work towards an official link.

Oxford's Lord Mayor, Colin Cook, and Husam Zomlot, the new Palestinian envoy in London, signed an official memorandum of understanding on Monday.

The two cities are already linked by the Oxford-Ramallah Friendship Association, which has worked to foster bonds amongst people in them for 15 years.

Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the West Bank, 12 miles north of Jerusalem. It is the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.

The link between Oxford and Ramallah could be finalised in February when the Mayor of Ramallah hopes to come to the UK to sign it off.

Mary Clarkson, the city council's member for culture and city centre, said: "I’m delighted that our links with Ramallah have been strengthened. Ramallah and Oxford have much in common.

"Both have established and highly respected universities and are cities of culture and diversity. I am sure we can learn much from each other for the benefit of residents of both our cities."

The city council is also looking to finalise links with Italian university city, Padua.

Oxford is already twinned with Bonn in Germany, Leiden in Holland, Leon in Nicaragua, Perm in Russia, Grenoble, France and Wroclaw in Poland. That link was finalised in October,