DFA: Duterte to make history as first PH president to visit Israel - The Daily Sentry

Monday, August 13, 2018

DFA: Duterte to make history as first PH president to visit Israel

President Rodrigo Duterte accepted the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu in September / combined photo from Finance Feeds and Rappler 

Manila, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit Israel on September 2 to 5, making him the first Philippine sitting leader to ever set foot in the Jewish state.

Duterte accepted the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September as confirmed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The official visit will be the first by a sitting president since diplomatic ties was established between the two countries since 1957.

The friendship between the Philippines and Israel started when President Manual L. Quezon opened the doors of the country as sanctuary to an estimated 1, 300 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust.

In the announcement of DFA Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Elmer Cato, the agency said the president and Israel’s prime minister are expected to discuss “common concerns” as well as to expand cooperation.

Among the topics lined-up are areas of labor, tourism, trade, agriculture, counterterrorism, and security and law enforcement.

The chief executive is also set to meet with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin to tackle development cooperation and the close historical and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Also, a business delegation will be present from different sectors of the Philippine economy.

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin / photo from Wikipedia

“A business delegation representing different sectors of the Philippine economy will join the visit and participate in a business forum to be keynoted by the President,” the DFA said in a statement.

The DFA added that several agreements are expected to be signed during the said visit.

In an earlier interview,  Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau said a deal for Israel's transfer of technology to the Philippines is one of the contracts they look forward to be signed.

"It's going to be the first visit of its kind of a sitting president of the Philippine to Israel with a large business delegation," the outgoing envoy said, who recently received the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Grand Cross from President Duterte.

Matityau said that he will be part of the officials to welcome the Philippine president to the Holy Land.

President Duterte will then meet with the members of the Filipino community in Israel to give them update on development in the country.

Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau / photo file from Cebu Daily News 

 Source: PNA