Czech PM Fiala To Meet PM Netanyahu and President Herzog in Israel Today
Fiala with Israeli President Herzog in July 2022. Credit: Vlada.cz.
Prague, Oct 25 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) will meet Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog during a visit to Israel today, to express support for the country, government spokesman Vaclav Smolka confirmed to CTK yesterday.
The aim of the talks will also be coordination within the European Council, which meets in Brussels from Thursday, Smolka added.
Fiala is flying to Israel alongside Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
The Austrian news agency APA was the first to report on the trip, citing the office of the chancellor. The aim of the trip is to “show solidarity with the Israeli people,” APA wrote.
Israel has been carrying out sustained aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip since 7 October, in retaliation for an unexpected attack by the Palestinian militant movement Hamas on villages in southern Israel which killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
According to the Palestinian authorities, nearly 6,000 people have died so far in the Israeli bombing, including over 2,000 children. Over half the population of Gaza are under 18.
Shortly after the Hamas attack, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) visited Israel. He arrived there from the European Union ministerial meeting in Oman on 10 October, and held talks with Herzog and his counterpart Eli Cohen. 34 Czech citizens returned to the Czech Republic together with Lipavsky, on the first of several repatriation flights.
The Israeli Ambassador in Prague, Anna Azari, thanked Lipavsky yesterday on Twitter for being the first foreign leader to come to Israel after the attacks, and for the “unwavering support of the Czech Republic in these difficult times.”
Fiala discussed the situation in the Middle East yesterday during a lunch with President Petr Pavel.
“We discussed current world events, especially the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and the situation in the Middle East,” Fiala said afterwards.
Following the Hamas attacks, a number of Western countries expressed their support for Israel. French President Emmanuel Macron visited Israel yesterday and expressed his “full solidarity”, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have also visited the country. Last week, US President Joe Biden visited Israel.
APA reported that Austria and the Czech Republic are among the EU countries that consider the current Israeli military retaliation to be legitimate self-defence. Others, on the other hand, including Belgium, Ireland, and Spain, are critical of the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip and are calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in view of the high number of civilian casualties.