Israeli government in Prague, May 2012

Post date: Oct 02, 2012 3:8:52 PM

Israeli government in Prague, May 2012

“Israel has no better friends in Europe than the Czech Republic,” the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told his Czech counterpart Prime Minister Petr Nečas this year, in May 2012 in Prague. Both statesmen met for a unique cabinet to cabinet meeting affirming strong ties between those two countries. The two-day visit resulted in signing a number of intergovernmental agreements that touched wide range of topics.

Two delegations

In addition to the Israeli Prime Minister who met with the head of Czech delegation Prime Minister Petr Nečas, Prague was visited also by the Foreign Minister Mr. Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister of Industry and Trade Mr. Shalom Simhon, the Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, the Minister of Social affairs and Communications Mr. Moshe Kahlon, the Minister of Transportaiton Mr. Israel Katz, the Minister of Construction and Housing Mr. Ariel Atias and the Minister of Culture and Sports Mrs. Limor Livnat to hold separate bilateral meetings with their Czech ministerial counterparts. These included the Czech Foreign Minister Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, the Industry and Trade Minister Mr. Martin Kuba, the Minister of Education Prof. Petr Fiala, the Minister of Labour Mr. Jaromír Drábek, the Minister of Transport Mr. Pavel Dobeš, the Minister of regional Development Mr. Kamil Jankovský and the Minister of Culture Mrs. Alena Hanáková.

Ministry of Foreign Affaires

The bilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries included the exchange of opinions about political and economic situation in Europe, situation in the Middle East and the state of European and national political discourse toward this vibrant region. Minister Lieberman has also invited minister Schwarzenberg to meet four Israeli Nobel prize laureates who came to Prague at the end of May 2012. The mutual declaration was signed.

Ministry of Industry and Trade

The Industry and Trade Minister Mr. Martin Kuba declared at the bilateral meeting with his Israeli counterpart that the Czech Republic has a great interest in the Israeli experiences in commercial use of science, as well as the state politics toward the support system of small and medium enterprises and start-ups. “We are ready to support any business intention from any of our two countries with the tools we have at our disposal,” minister Kuba said. Czech and Israeli economic relationship was improving ever since the establishment of Czech Republic in 1993. In 2011, the mutual balance of trade was worth USD 911 million. Israel is the Czech Republic’s most important business partner in the Middle East region making it the 5th largest export partner among non-European countries.

Ministry of Transportation

The transportation ministers Pavel Dobeš and Israel Katz signed a protocol that changes the bilateral agreement of air transportation from 1991. “The primary goal of this document is to liberalize the current scheduled flight services framework that is in effect between our countries,” said Dobeš. More flexibility and easier access to Czech-Israeli transportation market – those are supposed to be the main objectives of the protocol. Both ministers took a ride in one of Prague’s trams, namely in 15T ForCity that is to be considered as one of the candidates for Tel Aviv municipal transportation system.

Ministry of Education

The minister of education and sport Petr Fiala held a meeting with the Israeli minister of science and technology Daniel Hershkowitz. Both ministers talked about mutual cooperation in science and development. They appreciated the outcomes of the first Czech-Israeli mixed conference for scientific cooperation that took place in Jerusalem in February 2012. The conference called upon the project presentation in the field of neurodegenerative illnesses and advanced programming research with time of application in 2013-2015. Ministers also praised the outcomes of GESHER/MOST program conference held in Prague in May 2012. Ministers promised to support mutual scientific projects as they believe they could mean an important basis for preparation of research at multi-lateral level. 

Friendship out of ordinary

The meeting showed the extraordinary relations there are between the Czech Republic and Israel. Both countries invite each other‘s businesses, academia and private citizens to engage in this prosperous friendship. This meeting that declared support of science and development appears even more significant today, when the Czech government announced the modification of its economic policy from tough austerity measures to pro-growth plan with the focus on science, education and technology.

Historical Connection Between Prague and the Jewish people

At the end of the official visit to the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together with delegation of Israeli ministers visited the Old Jewish Town in Prague where they entered the famous Old-New Synagogue. Benjamin Netanyahu said a Kaddish prayer for his father that deceased few weeks prior to the visit in Prague. Embassy officials that accompanied the visit to the synagogue said that the Prime Minister was deeply moved by this historical moment.

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