Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will hold a series of meetings in Berlin, Vienna and Paris. (AFP)

March 16, 2021

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will depart Tuesday for a visit to Europe accompanied by army Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, while Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will be in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The two trips are part of a diplomatic campaign to mobilize support on three files: Hezbollah, Iran and the International Criminal Court.

Political sources in Tel Aviv said the Israeli officials will carry several missions: First, to inform the Europeans about the dangers of signing a nuclear deal with Iran or to freeze sanctions imposed on Tehran. Second, to warn about the activities of Hezbollah in Lebanon and its attempts to “widen its military fronts with Israel in the Golan Heights and to administer a state within a state based on drugs and terrorism.”

Third, the Israeli officials will use all means to prevent the ICC from charging Israeli officials of committing war crimes against Palestinians.

Rivlin and Ashkenazi are assigned to meet politicians, while Kochavi should sit down with military officials.

The president will hold a series of meetings in Berlin, Vienna and Paris with the presidents of Germany, Austria and France, and he will brief the European presidents on security matters.

Ashkenazi will be in Moscow on March 17 and will hold talks with Lavrov on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Russian-Israeli diplomatic relations.

The two ministers plan to hold an in-depth discussion on the current issues on the bilateral agenda, and will also exchange views on international and regional issues, focusing on a Middle East settlement.

Ashkenazi and Lavrov will also highlight the coordination of measures to curb any attempts to revise the history and results of WWII and prevent the glorification of Nazis and their accomplices and the denial of the Holocaust.

The Israeli Foreign Minister’s visit to Russia comes two days after Lavrov discussed the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East with a delegation from Hezbollah, which paid a rare visit to Moscow.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.