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 firstname.lastname@example.org