Israeli leader hosts east European PMs after summit scrapped

Israeli leader hosts east European PMs after summit scrapped
File -- In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 photo Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, attend a group photo during a meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's prime minister canceled plans for his country to send a delegation to meeting in Jerusalem on Monday after the acting Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said that Poles "collaborated with the Nazis" and "sucked anti-Semitism from their mothers' milk". (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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.