Netanyahu meets with Presidents of Argentina and Paraguay

PM meets with Macri in Argentina, meeting centered on bilateral relations; Netanyahu addresses threat of Iran to globe; Netanyahu meets with President of Paraguay; Cartes: I received many messages from Paraguayans saying ‘You are blessed. You are in Israel.’

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Prime Minister Netanyahu began his tour in Argentina Monday, meeting with President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday. Their meeting was centered on new and increased areas of cooperation and business, as well as improving bilateral relations.

Both leaders addressed the press, Prime Minister Netanyahu starting by speaking of the historic moment for Israel-Latin America relations. He stated, “I’m honored to be the first acting Israeli Prime Minister to visit Latin America. This is a historic moment for us. It’s incredible that in the 70 years of Israel’s existence, no Israeli Prime Minister visited any country in the western hemisphere south of the United States. And we are beginning here the dawn of a new era, and not accidentally we began it here in Argentina with you, Mr. President.”

The prime minister announced newly formed agreements and cooperation in the “fields of agriculture, of water, of IT, of cyber security [and] in the fields of health,” with four memorandums of understanding signed.

He spoke of the long history between Israel and Argentina, stating “We have a human bridge between our two countries, between Argentina and Israel, this is the Jewish community of Argentina, one of the largest in the world, a very proud community, that contributes much to Argentina, and may I say, 100,000 Jews from Argentina who came to Israel have contributed much to our own society in every field. This is the human bridge that will help in everything that we’re talking about – how to move our relationship, our friendship, to even higher levels.”

He then referred to Iran’s attacks through Hezbollah on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, stating “we know without a doubt that Iran and Hezbollah were backing up and in fact initiated these attacked, and can say that Iran’s terror has not stopped since then.” Netanyahu addressed Iran’s global efforts, stating “They have a terror machine that encompasses the entire world, with their sidekick Hezbollah. They are operating terrorist cells through many continents, including Latin America, and the need to fight terrorism, whether from Iran of from Daesh [ISIS], has now become a concern for all countries.”

Netanyahu than addressed Iran’s nuclear endeavors, stating “In the case of Iran, it is not merely terror, it’s also the quest for nuclear weapons that concerns us, and should concern the entire international community. We understand the dangers of rogue nations having atomic bombs.” He then addressed Israel’s stance on Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, clarifying that Israel’s “position is straightforward – This is a bad deal. Either fix it or cancel it.”

Aside from the three bilateral agreements signed in security, law enforcement and customs, President Macri announced that Argentina would provide Israel with 139,544 historic documents from World War II. He stated that “We have delivered these digitized historical documents about the Holocaust so that the State of Israel can make sure that they are investigated,” the documents to include letters, telegrams and photographs.

On Tuesday, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes travelled to Argentina to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, their meeting centered on bilateral relations. The leaders spoke on cooperation in the areas of agriculture, water and security.

The prime minister stated “I think you’re a great friend and I think that there is a lot of potential in the cooperation that we have for the betterment of both our peoples and to help, to the extent that Israel can offer its experience in technology, agriculture, water, security, all the matters that we’ve discussed and will discuss.”

President Cartes responded stating on their meeting and relations with the Jewish State “We are working very good, though I think that there is much more to do. Relations are like a muscle- you have to practice and work every day. But you have to know that we like you very much… Israel is in the heart of my country. I received many messages from Paraguayans saying ‘You are blessed. You are in Israel.’”