Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Argentina yesterday on the first leg of a groundbreaking diplomatic tour that will also include Colombia and Mexico.
Netanyahu has called the visit, the first to Latin America by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister, “historic”. He is travelling with a large business delegation including business leaders from sectors including agriculture, water, communications and energy. Israel and Argentina are due to sign a number of cooperation agreements on trade and security during the visit.
After landing yesterday, the Prime Minister took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the Israeli embassy that was destroyed in the 1992 bomb attack, in which 29 people were killed. Four Israelis who survived the attack, as well as family members of three who did not, accompanied Netanyahu on his flight.
Netanyahu also visited the AMIA Jewish community building, where 89 people were killed in a bombing in 1994, the worst terrorist attack in Argentinian history.
Israeli intelligence agencies believe both attacks were carried out by Hezbollah.
Today Netanyahu will meet with Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, who has declared that he would cancel cooperation with Iran. Argentina had a close relationship with Iran during the Presidency of Macri’s predecessor Cristina Kirchner.
According to reports in Argentina, Macri will present Netanyahu with documents relating to President Juan Peron’s time in power and the cooperation that his government maintained with the Nazis after World War II. Many Nazi leaders fled to Argentina because it had no extradition agreements with Western countries.
Netanyahu will also meet today with the president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, who is traveling to Buenos Aires especially for the meeting.
After leaving Argentina, Netanyahu is set to travel to Colombia and Mexico. Before he left Israel, the Prime Minister revealed he had had “a very moving conversation” with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and offered him “all the assistance at our disposal” to help with the recovery effort after the recent earthquake.
The Prime Minister will then travel to New York to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday 19 September. He will hold bilateral meetings with world leaders, including US President Donald Trump.