PM Netanyahu to visit Czech Republic and Germany


PM Netanyahu (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, (Wednesday, 5 December 2012), will leave for the Czech Republic and Germany. In the morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet in Prague with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas and will personally thank him for the Czech Republic’s brave stand alongside Israel against the Palestinians’ unilateral move at the UN. In the afternoon, the Prime Minister and his entourage will depart for Berlin.

On Thursday (6 December 2012), Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the context of the fourth meeting between the Israeli and German governments. (This will be his second meeting with Chancellor Merkel; they will also meet for dinner tomorrow evening.) During the meetings a joint declaration will be signed emphasizing the determination to continue enhancing bilateral relations and to further expand cooperation on a range of important strategic issues. The two governments will also sign a series of agreements on a broad range of issues (see list below).

Afterwards, Prime Minister Netanyahu, members of the Berlin Jewish community and German government representatives will hold a memorial ceremony at track 17 at the Berlin-Grunewald railway station from which tens of thousands of Jews were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz and Thereisenstadt.

On the eve of his departure, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"I will depart for Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and I will thank Prime Minister Necas, on behalf of the citizens of Israel, for the brave vote against the Palestinians’ unilateral move at the UN. The history of Israel and the Czech Republic teaches us that we must cling to the truth even if the majority is not on your side.

From there I will continue to the planned visit in the German capital, Berlin, where I will meet with Chancellor Merkel. I will thank her for supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against the terrorism of the missiles that were fired at us during Operation Pillar of Defense and we will discuss recent developments in the region.

In Berlin, I will attend a memorial ceremony at Track 17 from which tens of thousands of Jews were taken to the death camps. Six million of our people were slaughtered on European soil. From the ashes of the Holocaust, we established a state and an army. Attacks on the Jewish people and its state have not ceased since our independence. The difference is that today we have an army to defend us and we have a government that tells the world the truth."

During the meetings in in the context of the fourth meeting between the Israeli and German governments, agreements will be signed in the following areas:

  • Marking the 50th anniversary – in 2015 – of the establishment of relations between Israel and Germany;
  • Cooperation in research and development;
  • Cooperation in security and the war against terrorism;
  • Cooperation in cyber-security;
  • Cooperation in education and youth exchanges;
  • Cooperation in renewable energy;
  • Cooperation in transportation, railways and electric vehicles;
  • Cooperation in agriculture;
  • Cooperation in home front defense (natural disasters and emergency situations);
  • Cooperation in environmental protection; and
  • Preserving and renovating the "White City" in Tel Aviv.

The following members of the Israeli and German governments will participate in the meetings:

For Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Orit Noked and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

For Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizere, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan, Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner, Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Dirk Nieble, Transport, Building and Urban Development Minister Peter Ramsauer and Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Bernd Neumann.