Israeli leader hosts east European PMs after summit scrapped

Posted at 3:30 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 03:30:07-05

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister is meeting with his Slovakian counterpart in a first set of sit-downs with Eastern European leaders after a high-profile summit was cancelled over a rift with Poland.

Benjamin Netanyahu was hosting Peter Pellegrini on Tuesday in Jerusalem and was also to meet Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban before hosting all three for lunch at his official residence.

The meetings are the result of the unraveling of a planned summit of the Visegrad group after Poland withdrew to protest Israeli leaders' comments about Poland's complicity in the Holocaust.

Netanyahu had touted the gathering as a milestone in his outreach to the emerging democracies of central and Eastern Europe. He's courted them to counter criticism Israel typically faces in international forums.