Hungarian prime minister to visit Israel


BUDAPEST (JTA) — Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai will make a two-day official visit to Israel.

The visit, scheduled to begin Monday, is planned to mark two decades of cordial diplomatic relations between the two countries established following the collapse of a Communist administration in Hungary in 1989.

Bajnai, who heads a Socialist-led minority caretaker administration, plans to use the visit to strengthen Hungary’s commercial and cultural ties with Israel, according to government spokesman Domokos Szollar. He added that Bajnai is anxious as well to gain a personal view of Middle East issues.

The Hungarian leader is scheduled to meet his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as President Shimon Peres, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

Bajnai also was set to hold talks with Palestinian Authority leaders, but Szollar said they were canceled due to unspecified “extraordinary events.”

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