Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for a five-day day trip to Europe late Saturday night that will include his first powwow with new French President Emmanuel Macron and about half a dozen meetings with Hungary’s controversial leader Viktor Orban in Budapest.
“We are strengthening our ties with countries on five continents — Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America, but it also very important to us to strengthen ties with European countries,” the prime minister said as he boarded the plane Saturday night.
Netanyahu will meet Macron for their first official meeting in the Élysée. After their meeting, the two leaders will make statements to the press.
On Monday, Netanyahu is slated to fly to Hungary, marking the first visit to the country by an Israeli premier since the end of Communism. His embrace of a government seen by many as peddling in anti-Semitism has been the subject of much controversy in recent days.
On Tuesday morning, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will welcome Netanyahu at the parliament in Budapest. After their meeting, the two leaders will deliver remarks to the press, before they are joined by their wives for lunch. In the afternoon, Netanyahu will lay a wreath at the Monument to the Hungarian Unknown Soldier and meet with Hungary’s president, János Áder, before meeting for a third time with Orban over dinner.