Netanyahu in Europe: Strengthen the Saudis despite Khashoggi

Israeli PM, first foreign leader to be invited to Craiova Forum, uses pulpit to urge change in EU's Mideast policy.

Nitsan Keidar,

Netanyahu at Craiova Forum
Netanyahu at Craiova Forum
Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part today (Friday) in the Craiova Forum in Bulgaria, alongside the leaders of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia.

Netanyahu is the first foreign leader to have been invited to the summit of nations as the guest of honor.

In the course of the joint statements to the press by the leaders, Netanyahu stressed Saudi Arabia's importance as a moderating element, despite the murder of political journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"What happened in the Istanbul consulate was horrendous, and it should be duly dealt with," he explained. "At the same time I say that it's very important for the stability of the world – the region and the world – that Saudi Arabia remain stable. And I think that a way must be found to achieve both goals. Because I think that the larger problem is Iran, and I think that we have to make sure that Iran does not continue the malign activities that it has been doing over the last two weeks in Europe."

"We have helped uncover two terrorist attacks – one in Paris, and the other one in Copenhagen – organized by the Iranian Secret Service. And I think that blocking Iran is uppermost in our agenda for security, not merely for Israel, but I believe for Europe and the world as well."

Netanyahu also told reporters that Israel's invitation to the forum is "a great honor" for Israel and reflects Israel's rising status in the world. Each of the participating leaders, he divulged, promised him to work toward improving the way their countries vote on matters pertaining to Israel, in the EU and the UN.

Regarding the gas pipeline from the Leviathan field to Europe and the Balkans, Netanyahu said the participating countries are very interested in Israeli technology and seek friendship with Israel.

The EU is unhappy about Netanyahu's clear statements regarding his effort to change Europe's attitude toward Israel. The EU's spokesperson published a statement according to which "The European Union and Israel enjoy strong, reciprocal and useful ties. The EU is Israel's largest economic partner and we have a strong political alliance, and full commitment to the security and welfare of Israel."




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