Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis in Jerusalem on March 11. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL
by Ariel Kahana and Yori Yalon
(Israel Hayom) — Kosovo is set to become the third country after the United States and Guatemala to open an embassy in Jerusalem, in addition to Hungary and the Czech Republic adding offices there. Israel Hayom has learned that senior diplomats from both latter countries will attend a ceremony in Jerusalem on March 15 to mark the occasion.
On March 11, Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš welcomed the Czech Republic’s new branch of its embassy in the Israeli capital. Hungary, too, has a working office there.
Also that day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a summit with Babis and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Netanyahu praised both countries for acting to open official entities in Jerusalem, saying Israel appreciates “them helping us on the international stage, as true friends do.”
Both European leaders also announced their intentions to study Israel’s vaccination campaign.
Orbán noted that despite the financial crisis Israel and Hungary both face as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, bilateral trade had increased in 2020.
“This is an expression of true friendship,” he said.
Meanwhile, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi will depart for a one-day trip to Germany, France and Austria on March 16 at the invitation of Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French President Emmanuel Macron and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
On their European trip, Rivlin and Kochavi are set to hold a series of meetings focusing on the threat posed by Hezbollah, the acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program and the current war-crimes investigation being undertaken by the International Criminal Court. Kochavi is also expected to provide security briefings for the European leaders.
This article originally appeared in Israel Hayom.