JERUSALEM (EJP)—Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked Macedonia to use whatever influence it has in Europe in an attempt to stop demands for boycotts of Israel.
‘’Israel can understand criticism he said but not boycotts, especially in matters pertaining to Jerusalem,’’ he said during a meeting with visiting Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
Zaev, who was elected in May, arrived in Israel on Saturday night in time to attend the World Cup soccer match between the national teams of Israel and Macedonia.
Pointing out that Macedonia is a small and not very powerful country, Zaev assured Rivlin that nonetheless it would support Israel wherever possible. “We always support our friends and Israel is one of the biggest friends of the Republic of Macedonia,” he said.
Zaev spoke of his hope to learn from Israel during his visit and said, “Meeting with business and government, we will have new opportunity to learn from the advantages that Israel has, especially in building new jobs, connecting with the youth, especially connecting with hi-tech, new approaches to agriculture that Israel has.”
Later, during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Macedonian leader said his country stands with Israel in its fight against extremism and on behalf of world peace.
“The threat of radicalism and extremism is really present here in this region against Israel but also against my small country Macedonia and the whole region of the western part of the Balkans,” he said.
“We have cooperated on the level of security and the level of defense until now, and I know that we will increase this cooperation because it is in the interest of both countries,” he added.
Around 250 Jews live in Macedonia.