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FM Cohen accepts invitation from Ukrainian counterpart to visit war-torn country

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (L) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90; Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP)
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (L) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90; Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and accepts the latter’s invitation to visit Kyiv, which would make him the most senior Israeli official to visit since the war started 11 months ago, Israeli and Ukrainian officials tell The Times of Israel.

Cohen also pledges to permanently open Israel’s embassy in Kyiv within 60 days.

The embassy has been open for two-week periods, with the staff working from Poland otherwise.

Pointing at Russia’s use of Iranian weapons to kill Ukrainian civilians, Cohen calls on Ukraine to join in the fight against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and to encourage Europe to declare the Iranian force a terror organization, according to the Foreign Ministry.

He also pledges to continue Israel’s humanitarian aid to Ukraine, with a particular focus on energy infrastructure, medical equipment and water.

Cohen offers his condolences for yesterday’s deadly helicopter crash that killed Ukraine’s interior minister, government officials and several children.

The conversation was originally scheduled for last week, but was delayed.

Cohen irked Kyiv by saying Israel would speak out less about the war soon after he entered his position, and by speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the next day, before speaking to a Ukrainian official.

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