Watch warm speeches by PM Netanyahu when he met Colombian President Santos and later with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, while on his Latin tour.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Thursday in Mexico City with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The two discussed upgrading the bilateral free trade agreement and expanding trade. Agreements were signed regarding aviation, an MOU on MASHAV and a space agreement.
Netanyahu said during the meeting, “Thank you, my friend, President Pena Nieto for your personal friendship, for the friendship of Mexico. This is a milestone. As incredible as it sounds, what you just said always astounds me: that this is the first visit since the founding of the State of Israel of an Israeli prime minister in Latin America. It’s the first visit in Mexico.”
“It is, I would say, an unpardonable lapse, but we want the pardon. We’re here. We think that we correct now a historic lapse, because Mexico is a great country. It’s one of the world’s great economies, it’s a great nation, a great people, a great culture. We want to be close, even closer to Mexico, and this is what this meeting signifies,” added Netanyahu.
“I think that the first thing that I would say is that we want to congratulate you on your upcoming Independence Day, and also offer our condolences, once again, to those who lost their lives in the tragic earthquake. We have, as you said, offered any help that we can give to Oaxaca and Chiapas and anything that you deem appropriate, we stand ready, because we stand with you,” he continued.
“We have established 65 years of diplomatic relations, but those relations are gathering steam now. There is an innate sympathy between our peoples. We both are very proud of our traditions. You have the great religious and cultural affinities. Mexico has the Basilica of Guadalupe, where the Virgin Mary was revealed. Well, Israel is a place where she was born, and of course, where Jesus talked and preached. And I offer all our friends in Mexico to come visit Israel, walk in the footsteps of Jesus, where you will see this ancient land that is coming back alive.”
“And in fact this is, I think, the main theme of our meeting, of our agreements, of our partnership. We are proud of our past, but we are eager to seize the future. And it’s important to understand that the future is rushing at us with great speed. Those countries that will enjoy the future are those that will innovate. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is known as the Innovation Nation. We believe that through our partnership, we can bring the fruits of this innovation to the people of Mexico,” said the Prime Minister.
Netanyahu’s visit to Mexico is part of his trip to Latin America. He began his trip in Argentina, where he met with President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday and discussed the Iranian nuclear deal among other things.
“Our position is straightforward- this is a bad deal. Either fix it or scrap it. This is Israel’s position,” the Prime Minister said following the meeting.
Netanyahu also visited the sites of two terrorist attacks against the Jewish community of Buenos Aires which have been linked to Iran.
He participated in a wreath-laying ceremonyfor the 29 victims of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy and visited the AMIA Jewish community building, where 89 people were murdered in the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history in 1994.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu visited Colombia, where he met President Juan Manuel Santos.
The two pledged to strengthen ties in areas like science and tourism. Netanyahu said that he sees “enormous progress” in Colombia, adding that it “merely sets the stage for what will happen in the next 30 years.”
Santos called Israel a “friend and an ally” in Colombia’s historic peace process with the nation’s largest rebel group.
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