Historic visit after 56 years. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, for the first visit by an Israeli foreign minister to the country in more than five decades. In fact, this is the first visit by an Israeli foreign minister to the Philippines since Foreign Minister Abba Eban's visit to Manila in 5 (preceded by Foreign Minister Golda Meir's visit in 1967).
The meeting is part of a round of meetings held by Cohen to strengthen strategic ties in East Asia. The minister inaugurated the new wing of the Israeli embassy in Manila and met with representatives of the country's small Jewish community.
With the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. Strengthening diplomatic ties with the Philippines and Israel's presence in East Asia, Photo: Shlomi Amsalem GPO
The minister opened his historic state visit on Monday with a meeting in Manila with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Foreign Minister Menlo. Minister Cohen discussed with his hosts the advancement of relations between the two countries, as well as the new opportunities opened up following the signing of the Abraham Accords and the flight permits over Saudi Arabia and Oman, which significantly shorten flight times between Israel and East Asia.
"Israel and the Jewish people owe a historic debt to the Philippines for saving 1,300 Jews during the Holocaust and for being the only Asian country that supported the establishment of the State of Israel on November 1947, <>," Cohen said. "The diplomatic visit to the Philippines will strengthen diplomatic ties with the Philippines and Israel's presence in East Asia as a continuation of the diplomatic visit to India last month.
Strengthening political and economic ties in East Asia, and shortening flight time thanks to permission to fly over Oman, will open doors for Israel in other countries in the region and will bring Israel groundbreaking economic and political opportunities."
The Israeli Foreign Minister presented President Marcos and the Foreign Minister with the possibility of establishing a sea-land transportation route between Asia, through the Middle East and Israel to Europe, which would significantly reduce the costs of international transportation of goods. In addition, Minister Cohen met during the visit with giant Filipino and Israeli companies as part of the Israel-Philippines Business Forum.
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