Fifty Years of Israel-Argentina Relations

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
31 May 1999

On May 31, 1949, Presidents Juan Peron of Argentina and Chaim Weizmann of Israel established diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Today, May 31, 1999, fifty years later, President Ezer Weizman received the Argentine Ambassador to Israel, Vicente Espeche Gil, who submitted a letter from Argentina President Carlos Menem. Following are excerpts from this letter:

"Throughout all these years, our relations have multiplied, expanded and strengthened… In this, our governments responded to the aspirations of friendship and solidarity of our societies.

Argentina gave refuge to hundreds of thousands of Jews coming from Europe and gave them the opportunity of being Argentinians who freely practice their faith, age-old culture and traditions…

There are today living in Israel tens of thousands of Argentinians who have decided to settle in the promised land…

Our two peoples share a precious spiritual and ethical heritage. The majority of our people profess their faith in the same God. Both countries are democracies governed by the rule of law, and, no less important, are close friends.

This salute that I send to you on behalf of the people and government of Argentina should be understood as a friendly embrace for the government and the entire people of the State of Israel.

God willing, in the next 50 years, our friendship and cooperation will grow and our relations will be fruitful for the benefit of the whole world."