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EU eastern states say bloc must show more support for Israel
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EU eastern states say bloc must show more support for Israel

Europe should better appreciate Israel’s key role in Middle Eastern stability, leaders of four central European nations said on Wednesday in a joint attack with Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu on Brussels’ current policy toward the state.

Netanyahu met the Visegrad Four leaders of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, who backed Israel and called for an improvement in the EU's relations with the state.

"I think Europe has to decide whether it wants to live and thrive or it wants to shrivel and disappear," Netanyahu told the leaders of the eastern EU states behind closed doors in Budapest.

In an audio recording of the remarks obtained by Reuters, Netanyahu goes on to say: "It's a joke. But the truth is the truth, both about Europe's security and Europe's economic future. And both of these concerns mandate a different policy toward Israel."

Netanyahu asked the four premiers point blank to support his country in Brussels.

"If you, as the Visegrad group, can begin to advance this conception, I think this would be... beneficial to you but I think it would actually be beneficial to all of Europe."

"We're part of European civilization. You look at the Middle East - Europe stops in Israel. That's it."

At a later press briefing Netanyahu repeated the statements in a more diplomatic language, saying Israel "serves a unique function in being the one Western country in the region, the one country that is able to limit and fight from within the region this great danger to all of us."

Hungary's Orban said he and other Visegrad leaders would support better relations between the EU and Israel.

The group will meet in 2018 in Jerusalem at Netanyahu's invitation.

 Click here to read the full article in Reuters

Thursday, July 20, 2017
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