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Czech Republic cancels V4 Summit in Israel

Feb. 18, 2019 4:03 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2019 4:08 P.M.)
PRAGUE (Ma'an) -- The Visegrad (V4) Summit, scheduled to start in Jerusalem on Tuesday, has been cancelled after Poland pulled out due to diplomatic tensions with Israel, according to Czech news outlets.

Lidovky news outlet reported that the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, announced that the V4 Summit is officially cancelled, saying “Bilateral discussions would take place instead and that the summit may be rescheduled for the second half of this year.”

Babis’s decision came after Poland decided cancel the visit of its foreign minister to Israel following “racist” remarks made by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

Katz said that "Poles suckle anti-Semitism from their mothers' milk."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denounced Katz's remarks as "racist and unacceptable."

Poland's ambassador to Israel also slammed the remarks via his Twitter account, "It is really astonishing that the newly appointed foreign minister of Israel quotes such a shameful and racist remark. Utterly unacceptable."

The diplomatic tensions between Poland and Israel erupted during the Warsaw Conference on the Middle East last week, when Isareli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to push back against a Polish law, which prohibits broad statements that Poland as a state had collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews during World War II.

While visiting the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw at the end of the two-day conference, Netanyahu said, "Poles cooperated with the Germans" during the Holocaust.

The V4 group is an alliance of four Central European countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, that are members of the European Union (EU) and NATO, and created the V4 for the purposes of advancing military, cultural, economic and energy cooperation with each other.

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