Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to leave next week for his first visit to Europe. Mr. Lieberman will visit Italy, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, where he plans to meet with heads of state.

His trip will focus on obtaining European support in the struggle against Iran’s nuclear program.

Mr. Lieberman will begin his five-day trip in Rome, where he will meet with his Italian counterpart Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Monday.

From there, he will continue to France, the Czech Republic and Germany to meet with those countries’ foreign ministers.

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He plans to warn against the danger of alleviating existing economic sanctions against Iran due to the threat Iran poses to global stability.

Mr. Lieberman also hopes to preserve positive relations between Israel and the European Union during his meetings with the foreign ministers. He also aims to stop an initiative to suspend the planned upgrade in those relations.

There have been mounting calls within Europe to suspend the upgrade in relations until the policies in which the new Netanyahu government states his explicit support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian question.

At the traditional meeting with the diplomatic corps based in Israel that was held Wednesday at the President’s Residence, Mr. Lieberman shook hands with the Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Yasser Rida, who exchanged pleasantries with him.

The Jordanian ambassador to Israel, Ali al-Aid, also shook Foreign Minister Lieberman’s hand.

Mr. Rida told Ma’ariv on Wednesday that “there is no crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel, but, like between brothers, there are sometimes differences in terms of the approach and views, and that is normal.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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