Photo Credit: Embassy of Israel in Germany/ Ruthe Zuntz
FM Gabi Ashkenazi and German President Steinmeier. August 26, 2020

Israeli Foreign Minister Gazbi Ashkenazi met on Wednesday evening with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier after landing in Berlin, the first stop on his first diplomatic trip abroad.

During the meeting, he thanked Steinmeier for his “long-standing friendship and courageous support of Israel.”

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Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that the two discussed “urgent issues” on security, economic, health and political agendas, as well as Israel’s normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates and “the important effort” to expand it to other countries in the region.

They also talked about the Hezbollah attack on northern Israel on Tuesday night and Ashkenazi expressed Israel’s gratitude to Germany for its ban of the entire Hezbollah organization in April.

Ashkenazi called on Germany to “join and support the joint global effort against the Iranian threat and the restoration of the arms embargo on Iran.”

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decided earlier this month not to extend its arms embargo on Iran, which will expire in October. Germany abstained in the vote.

Later on, Ashkenazi laid a wreath during a somber ceremony at the “Gleis 17” Memorial site in Berlin.

Track 17 was one of the three stations where a total of 55,000 Berlin Jews were deported from Germany by the Nazi regime.

He is slated to meet with European Union foreign ministers in Berlin on Thursday is part of Israel’s push against Iran’s regional belligerence.

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