Deputy FM Whbee will meet with senior Colombian officials and leaders of the Jewish community in Bogota.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Majalli Whbee will leave for an official visit of Colombia on Sunday, 24 February 2008.

Deputy FM Whbee will meet in Bogota with the President of the Colombian House of Representatives Oscar Arboleda Palacio, Foreign Minister Fernando Araojo and other senior officials. Topics of discussion will include promotion of bilateral relations in the political and trade/commerce sectors. Deputy FM Whbee will also visit at the Jewish School in Bogota and meet with the leaders of the 4,000 member Jewish community.

Colombia and Israel have had an extremely cordial relationship since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1949. One of the reasons for this warm relationship is the common struggle against terror of both countries. Colombia is Israel’s second-largest trading partner in South America, after Brazil. Israel’s annual exports to Colombia reached US$ 152 million in 2007, while imports amounted to US$ 585 million. Over 100 Israeli companies are active in Colombia, among them RAD, ECI. Netafim, Plastro, Gilat and others.

Colombia is the oldest democracy in South America. The political system remains stable despite threats from terrorist and guerilla organizations. Israel supports Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the country’s sovereign government in their war against terror.

After leaving Bogota, Deputy FM Whbee will visit Mexico City to head the Israeli delegation to the political dialogue with Mexico.