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Israeli FM reaches out to Bulgaria, Romania to strengthen ties, present “common front” against Iran

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen arrives to a government conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on January 15, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Tuesday appealed to his counterparts in Bulgaria and Romania about deepening political and economic ties, as well as presenting a “common front” against the Iranian nuclear threat.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov expressed a desire to further develop relations between the countries “in the fields of economy, agriculture, and technology” during his talks with Cohen.

“In the field of tourism, the ministers would like to increase the number of flights and destinations [from Israel] to Bulgaria,” according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bella Stroller.

Bulgaria, as a board member of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – the UN’s nuclear watchdog – also agreed to support Israel in international forums, specifically as it relates to the Iranian threat, Stroller added.

Cohen and Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu also discussed a mutual desire to strengthen economic and security relations. During the call, Aurescu said Bucharest will support Israel’s appeal to the European Union to designate the Iranian Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

Aurescu on Tuesday tweeted about his talks with Cohen, posting: "Excellent call today with FM @elicoh1on development perspectives of – relations of strategic nature, as we mark 75yrs of uninterrupted diplomatic ties in 2023."

"We touched on key bilateral topics: economic&defence cooperation, people-to-people ties, collaboration in multilateral fora, incl. as regards EU-IL ties. Discussed regional security issues, incl. war in UA & Iran’s negative role," he added.

On Wednesday, IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi condemned Iran for making an undeclared change between two clusters of machinery that have the ability to enrich uranium up to 60% purity, which is considered close to weapons-grade. The United States and its allies called out Iran for being inconsistent in meeting their nuclear obligations.

Last week, Israel allegedly targeted a defense ballistic missile storage compound in Iran with a drone strike. While it has not been confirmed, Israel Defense Forces has openly said it will take military action against Iranian targets in the event that Iran continues to pose a threat.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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