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Israel Foreign Minister’s historic visit to Phl reaffirms solidarity with Filipinos

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By Monsi A. Serrano

Amid the hectic schedule of Israel Foreign Minister Eliyahu Cohen in the Philippines, he was able to optimize and make his historical visit truly productive and meaningful.

In the morning, Cohen graced the Israel-Philippines Business Forum wherein business delegates from Israel joined him. Then he inaugurated of a new office floor in the Israel Embassy, and paid courtesy calls to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, a visit to Rizal Park, and culminated his visit in the Philippines with a dinner at the synagogue together with The Jewish Association of the Philippines, and Israel Chamber of Commerce Philippines group.

During the Israel-Philippines Business Forum, Cohen expressed his commendation to NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan for the impressive outlook and development programs of the Philippines he presented for foreign investors and the economy.

“Secretary Balisacan, you already convinced me to invest in the Philippines and the wonderful economic program you shared is truly impressive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cohen expressed gratitude to the Philippines for the warm hospitality and welcome he and his companions, when he paid a courtesy visit to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo.

Below is the full speech of Israel’s Foreign Minister Cohen.

Dear Secretary of Foreign Affairs Manalo, let me start by thanking you for the warm hospitality. 

I am very happy to have this opportunity to represent Israel and foster the historically friendly relations between our two nations.  This is without a doubt an historic visit, since the last Israeli minister of foreign affairs to visit Manila was Abba Eban, back in 1967. 56 years ago. 

This year, Israel and the Philippines are celebrating the 65th Year Friendship Anniversary. I believe that the flourishing relations will continue for more years to come.

Israel will never forget display of solidarity and humanity the by the Philippines, led by president Quezon, saving the lives of 1,300 persecuted Jews during the Holocaust.

In addition to that, we will always remember that the Philippines were the only Asian country to support the creation of the modern state of Israel back in November 1947.  

Israel, a true friend and ally of the Philippines, is committed to nurturing the strong bonds between our nations. We are committed to assist and share our knowledge with the Philippines in the areas of agriculture, water, and innovation and technology.

Israel, the Start-Up Nation, will continue to create bridges of innovation between businessmen and women of our countries to help boost trade and economic ties and help improve the lives of the citizens of both our countries.

We are specifically looking into issues such as agriculture productivity, food security, cyber security and digitalization.

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