(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin is leading a delegation on an official visit to Latin America. The delegation began its visit in Paraguay and participated in the inauguration ceremonies of the new government.
DFM Elkin met yesterday (Wednesday 14 August 2013) with incoming President Horacio Cartes, with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense and Minister of Trade and industry, as well as with leaders of the Jewish community in Paraguay.
The meeting with President Cartes was held in a most cordial atmosphere, during which the president expressed his great appreciation for the State of Israel and his desire to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. In this regard, Parauguay will reopen its embassy in Israel within the next few weeks. Paraguay was one of the only countries on the American continent that did not support the Palestinian's unilateral move to upgrade their status in the UN. President Cartes stated that it is his intention to continue this independent policy of supporting Israel in the international arena, in contrast to the current stance of the majority of countries in Latin America.
During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the danger of global terrorism in general and radical Islamic terrorism in particular, which is typically supported by Iran. It was agreed that close cooperation between the two countries was necessary to cope with this danger. DFM Elkin and President Cortes also discussed the need to strengthen cooperation in the economic, commercial, agricultural and water utilization spheres and also increase international cooperation in various forums and to establish a system of periodic policy consultations.
In meetings with the new senior ministers, DFM Elkin discussed cooperation possibilities with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Trade and Industry. The ministers expressed their great appreciation of Israel and their desire for maximum cooperation, and to this end expressed their desire to visit Israel in the near future. All the meetings were held in a positive atmosphere.
Earlier, DFM Elkin met with leaders of the Jewish community in Paraguay and heard from them about community life and their relationship with the State of Israel. DFM Elkin stated that as an immigrant himself, he is well aware of the importance of the connection between the State of Israel and Jewish communities around the world. The Jewish community leaders emphasized the great importance of the delegation's visit to Paraguay, and thanked DFM Elkin for meeting with them.