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Scholz to Discuss with Netanyahu Bilateral Cooperation, Regional Security


Asharq Al-Awsat


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a working lunch in Berlin on Thursday, a German government spokesperson said on Monday.
The two leaders would discuss bilateral issues as well as international and regional security questions, the spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, said.
"The chancellor is looking forward to this visit," the spokesperson added, despite a criticism of the Israeli PM’s policies.
The organizations leading the protests against the Israeli government's judicial overhaul plan said they're planning a day of resistance on Thursday.
They also decided to hinder Neanyahu’s flight to Berlin Wednesday similar to what they did when he was heading to Rome.
The German government had recently criticized the Israeli government for the judicial reforms, which permit parliament to annul decisions by the Supreme Court and give politicians a greater influence in nominating judges.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that he was concerned about “the planned restructuring of the rule of law”.
"I am also in regular contact with my friend and presidential colleague Isaac Herzog and I am counting on his smart and balancing voice in the Israeli debate," he added.
Herzog condemned the judicial reforms, saying that the legislation being prepared “is wrong, predatory and dismantles our democratic foundations.”
Herzog announced that in his discussions with representatives on both sides of the political divide he has managed to create a formula for agreement on the majority of the major disputes.
But Herzog added that the opposition as well as the coalition needed to put the country above politics in order to prevent Israel from “falling off the edge of a cliff.”
The judicial reforms are facing objections in Israel. Thousands of Israelis have repeatedly protested the undermining of the judicial system.
The reforms could also serve the prime minister in the ongoing corruption case against him.

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