Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Rome on Friday with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace, the latter’s official residence.

He also met with dozens of heads of Italian companies and discussed Israeli water innovations in the context of recent Italian droughts and cybersecurity, among other subjects, according to the prime minister’s office. He told the business leaders that Japan has seen billions of dollars worth of bilateral trade increases following his visit to Japan and the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Israel.

“In his view, there is great potential for commercial and economic cooperation with Italy as well, which constitutes a major opportunity,” per Netanyahu’s office, which added that he planned to ask his Italian counterpart to hold a government-to-government meeting and a large gathering of Israeli and Italian business owners.

Israeli exports to Italy have doubled—now amounting to $1.5 billion by the end of 2022—in the past two years, added Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu was at Rome’s Great Synagogue when he learned of Thursday night’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

He also thanked those gathered for their condolences for the wounded following the terrorist shooting in Tel Aviv.

“Italy experienced terror. All free societies must fight terror together,” he said. “I appreciate your words as an expression of that basic policy that we continuously adopt together, and we cooperate against terror.”

On the trip, an Italian translator reportedly refused to translate for the Israeli premier and some shared photos of protests on social media.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, on March 10, 2023. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.


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