Israeli FM arrives in PH to boost agri, tech, economic ties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 4) — Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen landed in Manila on Sunday evening to begin a two-day visit set to forge a stronger relationship between Israel and the Philippines in the areas of agriculture, technology, and economy.

With Cohen was a business delegation that would meet with Filipino business representatives to expand trade and economic cooperation.

He is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday.

The Israeli top diplomat is expected to hold bilateral talks with Marcos, meet with Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and National Economic and Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan, sign agreements, and participate in meetings with the public and private sectors.

“Israel and the Philippines are celebrating their 65th anniversary of friendly relations this year. The visit of Israel’s Foreign Minister to the Philippines reassures that Israel is a friend and an ally of the Philippines, and we see the relations flourishing in the years to come,” Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss said.

Both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship on Feb. 26, 1958, establishing their full diplomatic ties. This agreement had its origins in the 1930s "Open Door" policy of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, which saved the lives of 1,300 Jewish refugees.

According to Fluss, Cohen’s trip to the country reciprocates former president Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Jerusalem in 2018, which paved the way for the opening of the Israeli Defense and Economic Attaché offices in Manila, signing of bilateral agreements on Overseas Filipino Workers, and expanding defense cooperation.