Israel, PHL top leaders to discuss counterterrorism, security, law enforcement

President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the invitation of the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the State of Israel from September 2 to 5, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

This is the first time a Philippine President will visit Israel since diplomatic ties were established between the two countries 61 years ago in 1957.

The DFA said President Duterte and Prime Minister Netanyahu are expected to discuss common concerns and ways of expanding cooperation in the areas of labor, tourism, trade, agriculture, counterterrorism, and security and law enforcement.

President Duterte is also set to meet the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin to discuss development cooperation and the close historical and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

“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,” DFA said.

“Several agreements are expected to be signed during the visit,” DFA added.

President Duterte will also meet members of the Filipino community in Israel to ascertain their welfare and well-being, as well as update them on developments in the Philippines.

“The historic visit will highlight the enduring friendship between Filipinos and Israelis, which began when President Manuel L. Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines as a sanctuary to an estimated 1,300 Jewish refugees who were fleeing the Holocaust,” DFA said.