Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is reportedly on an official visit to Spain, having left Tuesday evening at the start of the Jewish state’s 75th Independence Day celebration.
Cohen is expected to meet with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares and Congress of Deputies President Meritxell Batet, according to The Times of Israel.
On the agenda are central issues, such as ties between the European Union and Israel, as well as the ongoing Iranian threat.
The Spanish top diplomat is also expected to present positions of Madrid and the European Union on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Spain currently hold the EU presidency and the two foreign ministers will reportedly discuss how to advance closer diplomatic relations between the Jewish state and the European Union.
Cohen is scheduled to visit the public diplomacy organization, Centro Sefarad-Israel.
Spain holds a significant place in Jewish history, with Spanish Jewry playing a central role in the cultural and commercial development of Spain. Following the inquisition and the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in 1492, Jewish migrants established communities around the world, including in Italy, London, the Netherlands, New York, South America, North Africa and the Middle East.
Spain and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1986. While Spanish-Israeli ties are currently strong, there are cases of anti-Semitism and hostility towards the Jewish state. In February, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau suspended twin city ties with Tel Aviv, accusing Israel of human rights abuses toward the Arab population in the disputed territories.
“I have decided to temporarily suspend relations with the State of Israel and with the official institutions of this State and, in particular, the twinning agreements with the municipality of Tel Aviv, until the Israeli authorities end the systematic violation of human rights of the Palestinian population,” stated Colau.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.