Thursday, 8 Dec 2022 - 14 of Kislev, 5783
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Israel to deepen bilateral partnership

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On Tuesday, she will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, where she will deliver a speech. The University said it is honoring President von der Leyen for her statesmanship, her contributions to Germany’s security and social justice and her efforts on behalf of women and children, her fight against antisemitism and her commitment to enhancing ties with the State of Israel.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is in Israel for a tw-day visit during which she hopes to deepen EU-Israel relations and partnership in particular on energy cooperation as Israel is working hard to be able to export some of its offshore gas resources to Europe, which is looking to replace Russian fossil fuel purchases since the invasion of Ukraine and sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime.

But she will also discuss with Israel’s leaders the global response to the food crisis and the situation in the Middle East.

Von der Leyen, who visited Ukraine during the weekend, is meeting Monday afternoon with the Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid.

On Tuesday, she will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, where she will deliver a speech. The University said it is honoring President von der Leyen for her statesmanship, her contributions to Germany’s security and social justice and her efforts on behalf of women and children, her fight against antisemitism and her commitment to enhancing ties with the State of Israel.

Later, the President of the EU’s executive body will travel to Ramallah, where she will meet the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohammad Shtayyeh.

In the afternoon, the President will come back to Jerusalem for a meeting with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog. She will then visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem

In the evening, she will meet Israeli Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett, with whom she will deliver a press statement.

Prior to assuming the European Commission presidency since 2019, President von der Leyen served in a series of senior cabinet minister roles in Germany including Federal Minister of Defence, Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, and Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is also visiting Israel, his first Middle East trip since taking office last year, and he too is expected to discuss energy and food security during his two-day visit.

 

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