Slovenia PM to meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem

Meeting of Pahor takes on added significance as September's Palestinian statehood bid at the UN approaches.

Borut Pahor, Slovenia PM (photo credit: Sebastien Pirlet/Reuters)
Borut Pahor, Slovenia PM
(photo credit: Sebastien Pirlet/Reuters)
Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor is scheduled to arrive Monday for a meeting that, in light of the expected vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN in September, has taken on added significance.
Of the former Soviet bloc countries that entered the EU, Slovenia is considered to be the coldest nation toward Israel. This is widely attributed to the fact that it takes foreign policy cues from Austria – itself among the states more critical of Israel inside the EU.
Netanyahu to make rare visits to Romania, Bulgaria
Photo Gallery: Under Slovenia lie mass graves
History made as Slovenia elects its 1st black mayor
Slovenia was one of only five of the 27 EU countries that voted against Israel, and for the adoption of the Goldstone Commission on Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The other four countries were Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and Portugal.
Pahor is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for lunch on Monday, during which the September UN vote is expected to figure prominently in discussions.
Both Israel and the Palestinians are lobbying the EU countries feverishly in the run-up to September.
In addition to meeting Netanyahu, Pahor is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Shimon Peres and opposition head Tzipi Livni. During the three-day trip – expected to be heavy on meetings with business people – Pahor will also go to Ramallah for consultations with the Palestinian leadership.