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Israeli foreign minister in Prague to discuss countering Iranian threat

Eli Cohen is meeting with the Czech president and foreign minister • The central European country currently chairs the IAEA Board of Governors.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen delivers his inaugural speech at the ministry in Jerusalem, Jan. 2, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen delivers his inaugural speech at the ministry in Jerusalem, Jan. 2, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen was in Prague on Tuesday for meetings with Czech leaders to discuss countering the Iranian nuclear threat among other topics.

The central European country currently heads the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, with Ambassador Ivo Sramek occupying the position for 2022-23.

“I will meet with the president and the foreign minister to strengthen the ties between the countries and to discuss the fight against Iran and repel the terrorist arms of Iran,” Cohen said upon his arrival on Monday to the capital of the Czech Republic, a longtime ally of Israel.

In addition to meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, Cohen is scheduled to meet business leaders in Prague before flying back to Israel on Wednesday ahead of the evening start of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement ahead of the trip that discussions would include increasing bilateral collaboration in the areas of security, trade and climate.

Pavel, a former army general, was sworn in last month. He succeeded Milos Zeman as president of the Czech Republic. Upon his swearing-in, the American Jewish Committee’s Central Europe office congratulated him, saying that he is “dedicated towards a strong transatlantic alliance and European values.”

He visited Israel in 2017 as chairman of NATO’s military committee.

Cohen’s visit to discuss Iran comes amid reported talks in recent weeks between the United States, its European allies and Israel about an interim nuclear deal with Tehran proposed by the Biden administration. Axios reported that the interim agreement would include sanctions relief for Iran halting parts of its nuclear program.

Last month, IAEA inspectors discovered uranium particles enriched to 83.7% purity at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which qualifies as weapons-grade.

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