Visegrad Four met Israel’s PM Netanyahu in Budapest
At the initiative of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a joint working group on fighting terrorism will be set up with the Visegrad Group, Hungary’s premier, Viktor Orbán, said after a meeting of the V4 and the Israeli PM on Wednesday.
Also, a joint working group will be set up to advance technological cooperation, Orbán said.
Orbán urged ties between Israel and the European Union to be put on a rational footing, and instead of condemnation, the door should be opened to cooperation, he added. “The EU would punish itself if it did not cooperate with Israel”, Orbán said.
The Visegrad countries will propose to the EU that Israel’s efforts to increase stability in the Middle East should be appreciated, Orbán said, arguing that stability in that region would protect Europe from “further and further invasions by migrants”. The V4 countries share Israel’s position on the importance of protecting external borders, Orbán said, adding that the unimpeded influx of people would increase the risk of terrorism.
V4 leaders were also in agreement that the European agencies leaving London should relocate to Visegrad countries, Orbán said.
Orbán also said the V4 leaders had asked him to discuss guidelines for employees of foreign missions with France.
Netanyahu said cooperation with Israel in the fight against terrorism and in the field of innovation served the interests of Europe and the Visegrad countries.
He also said the time had come to reformulate relations between Israel and the EU.
The Israeli PM expressed appreciation for the standpoint of the V4 in relation to ties with Israel, adding that Israel had been on the receiving end of regular condemnation from Europe.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” he said, adding that the country was the only one where Christians lived in safety. “Israel is the bastion of European and Western values in the region,” he added.
Netanyahu called it a great honour to have been the first Israeli prime minister invited to a V4 summit, and he noted his invitation to his V4 counterparts to hold the next V4 summit in Israel.