Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrive in Budapest, Hungary (July 17 2017)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Monday, 17 July 2017), landed Monday in Budapest, Hungary, where he met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and ministers in his government in the first visit by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister to Hungary since the resumption of diplomatic relations.

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Netanyahu and his wife Sara, along with Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, are also set to visit the Dohany Street Great Synagogue and meet with Jewish community leaders.

Netanyahu and his Hungarian counterpart signed a bilateral culture agreement and declarations of intent regarding cooperation in innovation and technology.

The culture agreement is to enable reciprocal financing of cultural appearances. “Dozens of Israeli shows take place annually in Hungary via the existing culture agreement and dozens more will be added, thanks to the new one, thus allowing additional artists and directors – inter alia – to go to Hungary and expose Hungarian audiences to Israeli culture,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The declaration of intent regarding innovation and technology “will lead to close cooperation between the Israel Innovation Authority and its Hungarian counterparts and advance Israeli-Hungarian start-ups,” Netanyahu’s office said.

The goal of the agreement is to promote cooperation between the governments including in the private sector with emphasis on high-tech, autonomous vehicles and new technologies.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was also slated to meet with Hungarian President Janos Ader in the presidential palace and to address a meeting of the heads of government of the Visegrad Group, along with holding individual working meetings with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Orban were scheduled to attend a special economic forum with representatives of dozens of Israeli companies and over 100 Hungarian companies in order to strengthen economic relations. Participating companies include those from the cyber, high-tech, agriculture, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.