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Netanyahu asks Romania, Ukraine to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu works on continuing to build on existing relations with the two countries, including signing a significant free-trade agreement with Ukraine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former Israeli minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Arens at Savyon Cemetery, on Jan. 8, 2019. Photo by Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former Israeli minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Arens at Savyon Cemetery, on Jan. 8, 2019. Photo by Flash90.

Israel is moving full steam ahead with its efforts towards foreign recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital.

In a meeting with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă in Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called bilateral relations between the countries “fantastic,” saying that they would be made “even stronger” by her visit.

“I hope that you will act to stop the bad resolutions against Israel in the E.U., and also, of course, to move your embassy and other embassies to Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu. “We wait for you in Jerusalem.”

While Dăncilă has worked to promote recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in her government, she has been faced with opposition from Romania’s President Klaud Iohannis.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu and Dăncilă discussed increasing bilateral cooperation in various fields, as well as Iran’s regional aggression and efforts to establish itself militarily in Syria. Netanyahu told Dăncilă that through its counterterrorism efforts, Israel was defending not only itself, but Europe as well.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet on Monday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is set to land in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening. Netanyahu plans to use the opportunity to ask the Ukrainian leader to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital.

During Poroshenko’s visit, Israel and Ukraine will sign a free-trade agreement that is expected to increase bilateral trade from $800,000 to $1 billion a year. The deal will also authorize the import of wheat and barley at low prices from Ukraine, which could lead to a drop in the price of baked goods in Israel.

Ze’ev Elkin, who chairs the Israel side of the Joint Ukrainian-Israeli Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, told Israel Hayom that “the agreement will provide a significant boost to ties between both countries.”

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