SOFIA—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested Romania to help ”significantly” change the European Union’s position on Israel.

He made the request at a meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă as part of the summit meeting of the Craiova State Forum in Varna, Bulgaria.

Romania will take over the EU presidency on January 1, 2019.

Netanyahu told his Romanian counterpart that Israel is defending Europe by preventing dozens of attacks on its soil.

The two discussed strengthening relations between the two countries, ways to increase the volume of trade and investment, as well as promoting cooperation in security and combating terrorism, in technology, energy and other bilateral issues.

Netanyahu also met Friday with the leaders of the others members of the Craiova Group, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia.

Before departing for Bulgaria on Thursday, Netanyahu told reporters that he wants to work with these countries “to change the hypocritical and hostile approach off the EU” toward Israel.

It is the first time that the group of Craiova countries has  invited a leader outside the four countries to participate in the forum.

‘’This is a great honor for Israel. It reflects the raising status of Israel in the world. Specifically each one of them promised me that they would improve their voting on issues that concern us both in the European Union and in the UN,’’ Netanyahu said.

The leaders of the group also discussed with Israel cooperation in light of the intention of Israel, Greece and Cyprus to promote the construction of the eastern Mediterranean pipeline project for the export of gas to Europe.