Netanyahu off to Italy, Hotovely ends trip to Vietnam

PM to visit Israeli agriculture exhibit at Expo Milan 2015

August 26, 2015 18:43
1 minute read.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Likud faction meeting. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to leave for Italy on Thursday, his first overnight trip abroad since he won reelection in March.

The narrow nature of the current government has put a severe crimp in Netanyahu’s ability to travel abroad while the Knesset is in session. But with the Knesset now on recess for the summer, Netanyahu is freer to travel without concern about parliamentary votes.

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In early September, he is also scheduled to visit Britain, and at the end of September he is scheduled to travel to New York for the annual UN General Assembly meeting. Since March, he has only taken one trip – a one-day visit to Cyprus earlier this month.

The prime minister will fly to Milan on Thursday, where he will visit Israel’s exhibit, “Fields of Tomorrow,” at Expo Milan 2015. The exhibit showcases the technological advancements Israel has pioneered in agriculture. While in the city, he will also meet with prominent Italian journalists.

He will then fly to Florence on Friday for a meeting Saturday evening with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who visited Israel last month and addressed the Knesset.

Florence is Renzi’s hometown, where he is currently vacationing.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely wrapped up a three-day visit to Vietnam on Wednesday, in an effort to deepen ties between the two countries.

In addition to ways of strengthening bilateral ties, Hotovely discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, according to a statement from her office.

She also discussed the importance of positive Israeli-Vietnamese relations being reflected in votes in international forums, especially considering “Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Israel in international frameworks,” the statement said.

Despite the good relationship between the two countries, Vietnam generally votes against Israel at the UN.

Israel recently opened a defense attaché office in Vietnam, a move expected to boost bilateral defense ties widely. The first joint working- group meeting on defense issues between the two countries is expected to take place in Israel in November.

Hotovely met with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh during her visit, as well as with her counterpart in the Foreign Ministry, the head of the Communist Party’s commission for external relations, and the chairman of the Vietnam-Israel parliamentary friendship association.

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