Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO
President Rivlin and IDF COS Kochavi arrive in Germany.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi arrived in Europe on Tuesday for a visit to three countries to discuss the dangers posed by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization and Iran.

At the invitation of the presidents of Germany, France and Austria, Rivlin will hold meetings “on the dangers of Hezbollah’s rising power, the intensification of Iran’s nuclear project, and the International Criminal Court.”

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Kochavi will brief the European presidents on security matters during the meetings.

Germany and France are members of the P5+1 powers who signed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which is now under reconsideration following the Biden administration’s interest in doing so.

Germany is the only country of the three that has banned the Hezbollah organization in its entirety, both its military and political wings.

Speaking about the visit, Rivlin said that “this important diplomatic visit is highly significant at this time. Europe is showing an extraordinary commitment to the security of the State of Israel and to preserving the stability of the Middle East and we appreciate it deeply.”

“There is currently an opening of hope that moderate voices in our area will strengthen and we will do everything possible to allow those voices to be heard. But at the same time, extremist voices – especially Iran – are threatening to undermine this stability. It is important to ensure that the international community is ready, determined and uncompromising, to oppose Iran’s nuclear plans and its support for terrorist organizations that threaten Israel and regional security,” he said.

His agenda for also includes the “misuse” of the ICC against Israel and the IDF.

“We trust our European friends will stand with us on this important issue,” he said.

Several countries, including Germany and Austria, have voiced opposition to the ICC’s intention to launch a war crimes probe against Israel.

Rivlin will begin in Berlin where he will meet with German President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

On Wednesday, the Israeli delegation will be in Vienna, where they will be received in an official reception at the presidential palace. After the ceremony, the president will meet with President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria.

The presidents will deliver remarks at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the memorial for Jewish Austrians.

Rivlin and Kochavi will depart for Paris on Thursday, where he will hold a meeting with Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Later in the day, they will return to Israel.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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