Monday, July 17, 2017

Netanyahu To Meet With French President Emmanuel Macron

Netanyahu departs for 5-day trip to France and Hungary

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.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara took off from Ben-Gurion Airport at around midnight on Saturday, heading to Paris for a ceremony Sunday marking the 75th anniversary of the deportations of French Jewry during the Holocaust.
“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.

Macron hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris last week. In a press conference following their meeting, the French president reiterated his country’s support for a two-state solution and denounced Israeli settlement expansions.
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.

Wednesday is to be devoted to meetings with the leaders of the Visegrád Group, a consortium of four Central European states: Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Netanyahu will have lunch together with Orban, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. He will also conduct bilateral meetings with the other three leaders.
In the afternoon, Netanyahu and Orban will attend a Hungarian-Israeli business forum.
On Wednesday evening, Netanyahu will visit Budapest’s magnificent Dohány Street Synagogue and meet with leaders of the local Jewish community.
He is scheduled to leave Budapest at Thursday around noon, arriving in Israel in the afternoon.

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