The visit underscores the high importance the Foreign Ministry ascribes to Israel’s ties with Latin America.

 FM Liberman to visit Latin America


(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman leaves on Monday, July 20, for a ten-day trip to South America, where he will be visiting Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia. Minister Liberman’s trip comes after a lengthy period in which no Israeli foreign ministers paid an official visit to the region. This visit is meant to emphasize the high importance the Foreign Ministry ascribes to Latin America. FM Liberman’s approach to foreign policy, as he announced upon assuming office, is that Israel must develop contacts in new directions, in addition to its special relations with the United States and close ties with Europe, and build broad international coalitions, in order to expand its influence and strengthen Israeli interests.

Besides Minister Liberman’s visit, in the context of the high importance with which Israel views its ties with Latin America, in recent weeks Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch visited Panama and Costa Rica; Deputy Minister Danny Ayalon attended the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Honduras; Minister Uzi Landau is going to Paraguay and Ecuador in August; and President Shimon Peres will be traveling to the region with a delegation of businesspeople in November. Minister Liberman also met recently in Jerusalem with a number of senior officials from South America, including the president of the Dominican Republic, the vice-president of Colombia, Brazil’s special envoy to the Middle East, the former president of Peru, and others. Some of the importance Israel assigns to the matter also stems from Iran’s heightened activity in South America.

Minister Liberman will be joined by a delegation of businesspeople in the fields of technology, communications and agriculture, who were selected by the Export Institute and the Manufacturers Association to advance and develop business ties between the two countries and expand common economic interests.

Minister Liberman will begin his visit in Brazil, where he will meet with the president, the ministers of foreign affairs and communications, the governor and mayor of Sao Paolo, heads of the Jewish community and other personages, and he will open a business seminar and sign an aviation agreement between the two states.

From there the minister will continue to Argentina and meet with the president and foreign minister, the mayor of Buenos Aires, members of parliament and others, and open a business seminar between the states. Minister Liberman will meet with heads of the Jewish community and families of the victims of the terrorist attack that took place in Buenos Aires 15 years ago, and lay a memorial wreath. During the visit in Buenos Aires, Minister Liberman will also meet with young Jewish leaders from the entire Latin American region.

In Peru, he will meet with the president, the foreign minister, the minister of defense and the Jewish community.

Minister Liberman will conclude his trip in Colombia with meetings with the president, the ministers of foreign affairs, defense, industry and trade, and communications; he will open a business seminar between the states; he will meet with the heads of the Jewish community; and he will sign international agreements.

Minister Liberman is scheduled to return to Israel on July 30, 2009.