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March 23, 2016 1:02 pm

Danish Prime Minister Makes Private Visit to Israel to Celebrate Easter Holiday

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avatar by Ruthie Blum

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Photo: Wikipedia.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Photo: Wikipedia.

The prime minister of Denmark landed in Israel Wednesday for a private visit, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.

According to the report, Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen arrived with his wife, Sólrun Jákupsdóttir, and a group of friends to spend five days in the Holy Land celebrating the Easter holiday. Though the trip is not an official one, the Rasmussens are having their first dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

Rasmussen and his entourage flew to Israel from Copenhagen on a commercial flight and will be based in Tel Aviv, while touring various sites in the country. They will also visit Ramallah, where they will meet with Palestinian Authority officials.

Rasmussen has been Denmark’s prime minister since June, but it is his second time around as his country’s leader, having served from April 2009 to October 2011. He is the head of the center-right liberal party, Venstre.

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So far, he has never made an official visit to the Jewish state, though his government is considered relatively pro-Israel. Though Denmark opposes Israeli settlements and supports a two-state solution, it is against BDS and has refused to join its neighbor, Sweden, in recognizing Palestine as a state.

According to Walla, private visits by foreign leaders are relatively rare, though Israel is a common and important destination for official state visits. A senior Israeli source told the news outlet that there is “something extremely nice” about Rasmussen’s trip. “He is not here for work; but felt like spending his vacation here, out of all the places in the world.”

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