Netanyahu visits Argentina to bolster ties

Seeking to make diplomatic inroads in Latin America, Netanyahu has begun his historic trip to the region in Argentina.  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Argentina on Monday for a two-day visit seeking to strengthen ties with the country that is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish community.

Netanyahu’s historic arrival marked the first visit by an Israeli leader since the establishment of the state.

He is also scheduled to visit Colombia and Mexico.

Netanyahu will meet with President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday.

The two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements on public security, customs and social insurance as well as an archives agreement regarding the Holocaust.

Netanyahu is also expected to press for answers on two unsolved terror attacks in Argentina.

Israel and Argentina have long accused Iran of being behind 1990s bombings in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people at the Israeli Embassy and 85 people at a Jewish community center. Iran has denied any connection.

The leading prosecutor investigating the attack on the community center was found dead in his apartment on Jan. 18, 2015. That case remains unsolved.

From Argentina, Netanyahu will fly to Bogota to meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The two countries will sign joint the following agreements: a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in science and a tourism cooperation agreement.

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Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu explained that the trip is meant to “develop reciprocal economic relations between the countries.”

“We are, in effect, doing what we are doing in Asia, Africa, Australia, Eastern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean basin and around the world. This visit will strengthen our economic, security and technological ties with Latin America and it constitutes a continuation of the strengthening of Israel’s international position, a systematic process that we are successfully leading,” he stated.

Following his visit to Latin America, Netanyahu will fly to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, where he will deliver an address on its opening day. He is also due to meet with various world leaders, including US President Donald Trump.

By: AP World Israel News Staff