Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Eli Cohen visited Spain on Thursday and met with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Madrid, according to Ynet, making his trip the first time in 13 years that an Israeli foreign minister visited the country.
During the visit, Cohen agreed to strengthen security cooperation with Spain and promote a security deal of about 300 thousand euros. However, the country has in recent years taken a pro-Palestinian stance within the European Union.
United front against Iran
At their meeting, both ministers agreed that a united front should be formed against Tehran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons, the report said. The change was driven by Iran's support for Russia in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Albares express concern over Israeli plans to tax foreign associations, worrying that this would seriously harm aid programs, Spain donates 100 million to Palestinians annually. Cohen reassured his colleague that Israel does not oppose humanitarian aid, but only the transfer of funds used which would be used by groups that encourage incitement and terrorism. Albares promised to guarantee that the aid would be used exclusively for humanitarian purposes.
The two also discussed how to further ties between Israel and the European Union generally and Spain in particular. They discussed a number of topics such as cyber and fintech and more. Albares expressed his desire to visit Israel in the near future.
Cohen also met with the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Madrid which is considered more pro-Israel than Barcelona which recently passed a resolution to boycott Israel. Cohen went on to thank Ayuso for her stance against terrorism and her commitment to preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
He also met with representatives of the Jewish community in Spain, numbering around 30000 people, while visiting the synagogue of Madrid.