A large number of EU countries support strengthening cooperation with Israel, including resuming the work of the Association Council to address common issues. After the meeting of the foreign ministers of the member states with their Israeli colleague Jair Lapid, the Czech head of diplomacy, Jacob Kolhanek, told reporters in Brussels. During the bilateral meeting, he invited the new Israeli minister to visit Prague, and they talked about the possibility of holding a joint meeting of the two countries’ governments again after five years.
Lapid arrived in Brussels a month after the formation of the new Israeli government, which for the first time in 12 years is not led by a long-time prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu. The current foreign minister is set to replace the current prime minister at the helm of the cabinet under a coalition agreement in 2023. Naftalihu Benita. Israel is currently trying to improve relations with some Arab countries or with the ruling American Democrats. However, it is also seeking the broadest possible support in Europe, which is particularly divided over the recently escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to Kulhánek, today a number of countries supported the resumption of the activities of the said council, which last met in 2012.
“We have to give effect to this advice, because it is a way to strengthen relations in the field of trade and investment, but also, for example, in the field of research, where there is huge potential for cooperation between the European Union and Israel,” Kulhanek told Czech journalists.
Along with Hungary, as well as Germany and Austria, the Czech Republic is one of Israel’s long-term allies, while countries such as Belgium and Ireland are pushing for a tougher stance on Israel’s approach to the annexed Palestinian territories. The Union unanimously decides on issues of foreign policy, and with regard to Israel has repeatedly not agreed on the latter approach.
The Czech minister discussed today with Lapid the possibility of holding joint negotiations between the two countries’ governments. Until now, the last time the two ministries met together in 2016 in Jerusalem, the organization of other meetings was complicated by the internal political situation in Israel, where early elections were repeatedly held. Ministers did not discuss the possible date or location of the meeting.
“If it is possible to organize the visit of the Israeli foreign minister in a very short time, it will certainly be a positive motive for us to organize a joint meeting of governments,” Kolhanik noted.