Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s strong ties with the Czech Republic Thursday, calling the country Israel’s best friend in Europe.
Israel has “no better friends in Europe than the Czech Republic,” Netanyahu said during a two-day visit to Prague.
“The Czech people understand what it’s like to be a believer in democracy in a hostile region,” he said.
Netanyahu headed a large ministerial delegation to the central European country, signing a number of intergovernmental deals with Prague, and meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.
The cabinet to cabinet meeting was the largest ever in the country, according to Czech news site Aktualne, with the focus on science, business and innovation.
Necas told Netanyahu his country “shares Israel’s fears on Iran,” and struck out at attempts by pro-Palestinian groups to boycott the Jewish state.
“We strictly refuse delegitimization and any boycott of the state of Israel. We unequivocally support Israel’s right to defend against terrorist attacks,” Necas said.
The Czech Republic has a long history of support for Israel, even as the European Union has become one of Jerusalem’s louder critics. In 2009, the country came out in support of Israel during Operation Cast Lead, saying Jerusalem had the right to defend itself from attacks coming out of Gaza.
Last year, Prague voted against the Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid at the United Nations.