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Herzog to visit Czech Republic, meet with officials and members of Jewish community

Herzog to visit Czech Republic, meet with officials and members of Jewish community thumbnail

President Isaac Herzog was set to take off Sunday to Prague with his wife, First Lady Michal Herzog, for a state visit to the Czech Republic and a series of meetings with Czech leaders, government officials, and members of the Prague Jewish community, his office announced.

During a one-day visit, Herzog will meet with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, President Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil, and the president of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová.

In a statement from Herzog’s office, Zeman was described as “an unwavering supporter of Israel.”

Herzog’s office said the two countries “enjoy close and friendly diplomatic ties, with a century-plus-long friendship and historical affinity that has found expression in moments of crisis and difficulty.”

The Herzogs will cruise back to Israel on Sunday evening.

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Last year, Israel signed a deal with the Czech Republic to provide it with four Spyder short-range air defense system batteries, the first time Israel was to deliver a full air defense system to a NATO country.

Czech President Milos Zeman addresses the media during a joint press conference after meeting at the Hofburg palace in Vienna with his Austrian counterpart, on June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner, File)

The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999, 10 years after former Czechoslovakia shed the totalitarian Communist regime that had been in power for four decades.

The purchase came as the country seeks to upgrade its military equipment — and further boost ties with Israel, already a close Czech ally.

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In the past year, relations between Israel and the European nation have become closer.

Czech then-foreign minister Jakub Kulhanek visited Israel in May 2021 in a show of solidarity during the round of fighting with the Hamas terror group.

Last March, the Czech Republic opened the Jerusalem office of its embassy after announcing its plans to do so in December 2020.

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