Three bilateral agreements signed between Israel and the Philippines; First visit by Filipino president to Israel; Netanyahu: We remember that the Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the establishment of the State of Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Jerusalem on Monday, the first visit by a head of state from the Philippines to Israel.
Duterte is in Israel with a delegation of business people and politicians for meetings during his four-day tour in Israel. He met with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday signing three bilateral agreements in caregiving, scientific and technical cooperation and investment and trade between Israel and the Philippines.
Ahead of his arrival, President Duterte released the statement “I leave today for landmark visits that underscore our vision for our country- a responsible member of the world community – a Philippines that is friend to all and an enemy to no one.” He stated that his visit would center on “defense, security, law enforcement, economic development, trade, investments and labor”.
Addressing the press ahead of their meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu welcomed Duterte’s historic visit to Israel. Referring to the Philippines history of supporting Israel, he stated “We remember the exceptional role of the Philippines that received Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. We remember that the Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the establishment of the State of Israel in the UN resolution in 1947… we remember our friends. And that friendship has blossomed over the years, and especially over the last few years.”
The leaders reportedly discussed future arms sales, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Manila and diplomatic relations.
The president visited Israel’s national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, following his meeting with the prime minister on Monday. He stated to the press following “I cannot imagine a country that obeys an insane ruler, and I hope it never happens again. We Filipinos will make sure it does not happen again as much as we can.”
Duterte will meet with King Abdullah II in Jordan on Wednesday.