Netanyahu thanks Czechs for UN vote

Netanyahu thanks Czechs for UN vote

Netanyahu thanks Czechs for UN vote

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (L) thanks his Czech counterpart, Petr Necas, in Prague for his country’s ‘no’ vote at the UN against Palestine. REUTERS photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has payed a visit to Prague to thank his counterpart Petr Necas for his country’s vote at the U.N. against recognizing a Palestinian state, while also expressing disappointment that Germany abstained from the vote.

Netanyahu’s office said he planned to “personally thank” the Czechs for their “courageous” support at the U.N. during the visit, before heading to Germany later yesterday.

The Czech Republic was the only European country and one of nine that voted last week to reject the resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state. Netanyahu also expressed disappointment that Germany abstained in the vote, hours before talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. In an interview to appear in today’s edition of German daily Die Welt, Netanyahu said it would be “not honest to hide the fact that I was disappointed by Germany’s vote at the United Nations, like many others in Israel.”

EU summons envoy

“In spite of the good intentions behind the German abstention, I believe that the opposite effect was achieved. It set back the cause of peace,” Netanyahu said. Meanwhile, the European Union said it was summoning the Israeli ambassador over the government’s plan to build thousands of new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Israeli move also drew criticism from European countries, including Britain and France.