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Israeli PM in Ukraine to Ask for Embassy Transfer to Jerusalem

Israeli PM in Ukraine to Ask for Embassy Transfer to Jerusalem

Monday, 19 August, 2019 - 12:00
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP/POOL)
Ramallah- Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Kiev, Ukraine, for an official visit, the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister in 20 years and Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected as President of Ukraine.

This is also Netanyahu's first foreign trip visit since the elections in April. He is supposed to meet Zelensky Monday and sign several agreements in the fields of agriculture, tourism, pensions, and education.

The two sides are also expected to reach an agreement on education under which Jewish children in Ukraine will be allowed to study in kindergartens and private schools, Israeli media said.

It is believed that Netanyahu will ask President Zelensky to move his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, however, Israeli sources presume that the request will be rejected by Ukraine.

Kiev is seeking to join the EU which does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Netanyahu will also meet local Jewish community leaders and visit the memorial at Babi Yar, where Jews were killed.

The visit comes less than a month away from the upcoming elections, after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government when his Likud party won April elections with a slim margin.

Israeli analysts say Netanyahu is trying to win more support from Russian-speaking voters in the new election, as part of his campaign. He wants to avoid a fate similar to that of the last election.

The Prime Minister is expected to return to Israel on Tuesday noon, and might later visit New Delhi to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is possible the two parties will sign new defense contracts ahead of the Knesset elections, but the plan has not yet been officially announced.

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