Ukraine’s President Zelensky to visit Israel next week

Preparations for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Israel next week are at an advanced phase, Israel’s Channel 12 news reports.

Zelensky had offered to come more than two weeks ago, but Israel felt it was premature with the war still in a relatively early phase, even though it welcomed other leaders from around the world.

“Such a visit would send an important message,” Education Minister Yoav Kisch says.

Zelensky’s arrival, and his photograph with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other Israeli leaders, will “send a message of the enlightened world under attack, standing against the less-enlightened world, attacking,” the TV report suggests.

“It would indicate something of a unified front of Israel, Ukraine, Europe and the US against the Russia-Iran axis,” Channel 12 says, adding that Israel recognizes that the visit would boost its legitimacy in the war against Hamas.

Over the past year, Israel has resisted getting too close to Ukraine to avoid angering Russia, which controls the skies over Syria from which the IDF operates to prevent Iranian entrenchment below. The stance in Jerusalem has irked Washington and at times infuriated Kyiv, whose requests for offensive weaponry have been repeatedly denied.

Zelensky could arrive as early as Monday or Tuesday, the report says.

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