Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman left on Sunday for a three-day visit to Italy, where he will meet his Italian counterpart and Prime Minister Mario Monti, the foreign ministry said.
Lieberman will hold talks with Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and past foreign minister Franco Frattini, and will meet the heads of the Jewish community in Rome, it said.
"Lieberman and his hosts are expected to discuss bilateral issues in preparation for the meeting between the governments of Israel and Italy scheduled to take place in October in Israel," the foreign ministry said.
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He will also discuss a range of "developments in the Middle East, and the continuation of sanctions against Iran."
Lieberman will "reiterate that the sanctions against Iran must be increased as much as possible in order to stop its nuclear race, which threatens not only the Middle East, but also Europe and the entire free world," the statement said.
Lieberman will visit Italy's Alenia Aermacchi ahead of the signing of a deal between the firm and Israel for the purchase of 30 training jets. The deal is worth more than $2 billion, the foreign ministry said.