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PM Netanyahu, and US President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2018
Netanyahu plans 'diplomatic blitz' before the elections
Ahead of the April 9 elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu intends to visit India, the United States, Morocco and possibly even Bahrain, as well as to host Brazil's president in Israel, in an effort to highlight his warn ties with world leaders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to launch a "diplomatic blitz" before the April 9 elections, during which he is set to visit India, the United States and perhaps even Morocco and Bahrain. Netanyahu will also host Brazil's newly-elected President Jair Bolsonaro in Israel.

 

 

Political sources confirmed Tuesday that talks are underway to secure Netanyahu's visit to New Delhi following National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat's visit to India earlier this month.

 

In 2018, Air India—a major Indian airline—began operating direct flights to and from Israel that include a route over Saudi Arabia as part of the warming diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and New Delhi, a move led by Netanyahu during his six-day trip to India last year.

 

PM Netanyahu, and US President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2018   (Photo: Reuters)
PM Netanyahu, and US President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

 

Two weeks before Israel goes to the polls, Netanyahu will fly to Washington to attend the annual AIPAC Conference, and is expected to meet with US President Donald Trump.

 

Furthermore, the heads of states that comprise the Visegrád Group (V4)—Hungary's Victor Orbán, Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki , the Czech Republic's Andrej Babiš, and Slovakia's Peter Pellegrini—are expected to visit the Jewish state in February to hold the first V4 summit in Israel.

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu during his visit to India in 2018
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu during his visit to India in 2018

 

Netanyahu will take advantage of the opportunity to try to convince the Eastern European leaders to move their embassies to Jerusalem. 

 

Czech President Miloš Zeman backed the transfer of his country's embassy to Jerusalem, however, Prime Minister Babiš opposed the move, fearing it would lead to a clash with the European Union. Instead, Zeman inaugurated in 2018 the "Czech House," a cultural center in Jerusalem promoting the Czech Republic's cultural, economic, tourism and scientific activities in Israel.

 

Hungary's Victor Orbán with Netanyahu  (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Hungary's Victor Orbán with Netanyahu (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

 

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, called on Netanyahu to cancel the summit, saying Hungary's prime minister has "published anti-Semitic content" while Poland's prime minister had "passed a law desecrating the memory of Holocaust victims," referring to the Holocaust law banning people from accusing Poland of Holocaust atrocities committed by the Nazis.

 

"This constitutes a complete loss of national pride and will harm Israel in the international arena. Netanyahu should overcome his desire for photo ops before the elections and cancel the summit," Lapid said.

 

Another controversial ally of Netanyahu, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, is expected to pay a reciprocal visit to Israel after the prime minister attended the newly-elected president's inauguration in December.

 

Brazil's newly elected president Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil's newly elected president Jair Bolsonaro

 

In the past, Bolsonaro announced he would move his country's embassy to Jerusalem, however, he too has been dragging his feet on the matter, fearing an Arab boycott against Brazil.

 

Meanwhile, Morocco has recently announced it will host Netanyahu before the elections, and Jerusalem is said to be holding talks regarding a possible visit by the prime minister to the Gulf state of Bahrain.

 


פרסום ראשון: 01.30.19, 11:43
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