(March 6, 2023 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with his Slovakian counterpart Eduard Heger in Jerusalem. The two leaders discussed deepening bilateral cooperation, particularly in the fields of technology, innovation and tourism.
“Slovakia and Israel have excellent relations, which are improving all the time. So, I hope this conversation will enable us to take it forward even more,” said Netanyahu. “We are happy to cooperate with you on security and prosperity for both our countries, and I look forward to doing more,” he added.
During their private meeting, Netanyahu emphasized the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and discussed opportunities for expanding the Abraham Accords.
The prime ministers then held an expanded meeting attended by Slovakian State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Lubos Jancik, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Marian Majer and First State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Peter Svec. Israeli Ambassador to Slovakia Eitan Lev-On and Slovakian Ambassador to Israel Igor Mauks also participated.
Heger was slated to visit Yad Vashem on Monday, where he will tour the Holocaust History Museum and the Hall of Names, participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the guestbook.
Heger’s visit comes as Hungary is reportedly preparing to move its embassy to Jerusalem next month, although the European country’s president said that no official decision has been made.
Zman Israel reported on Friday that Hungary would become the first European Union member state to open an embassy in Israel’s capital. Senior Israeli Foreign Ministry officials told the newspaper that an agreement was reached following “intensive” negotiations between Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó.
The European Union criticized the potential move by one of its members, with the organization’s foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano citing U.N. Security Council Resolution 478, which was adopted in 1980 and called on all U.N. member states to withdraw their embassies and diplomatic missions from Jerusalem.
In recent years, some countries have decided to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following the lead of the U.S., which did so in 2018 under President Donald Trump.
Hungary would join the U.S., Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo in recognizing Israel’s capital. Last month, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced that Papua New Guinea would open its first embassy in Israel in Jerusalem this year.
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