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Netanyahu: ‘No Greater Friend Than the Czech Republic In the Eastern Hemisphere’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Czech President Milos Zeman in Jerusalem on October 7, 2013. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90.

JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his country has no greater friend in the eastern hemisphere than the Czech Republic.

“You challenged me yesterday, correctly,” Netanyahu told Czech President Miloš Zeman. “You said that the Czech Republic is the greatest friend of Israel in Europe. And you said, ‘Why Europe?’ OK, I’ll amend it. We have no greater friend than the Czech Republic in the eastern hemisphere. There is a close race now about the two hemispheres.”

“We value the enormous friendship we have with the American people, and there is something similar about the friendship we have with the Czech people and Miloš Zeman, who I think is unsurpassed in his friendship to Israel,” said Netanyahu.

He added, “With the Czech Republic, as with the United States of America, there is something else. It’s a deep, deep commonality of values, which you so powerfully expressed. You said yesterday in a magnificent speech in the Knesset, magnificent, you said, ‘If we betray Israel, we betray ourselves.’ ”

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Netanyahu’s remarks come as the Czech Republic dedicated the Czech House cultural center and marked the Czech Republic’s National Day.

In an address to the Knesset on Monday, Zeman said he hoped that this would lead to his country moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also stated that he is Israel’s “best friend” in his country.

Said Zeman: “I am no dictator, unfortunately, but I promise I will do my best.”

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