PM Netanyahu meets with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri
We have a human bridge between our two countries, between Argentina and Israel; this is the Jewish community of Argentina, one of the largest in the world. This is the human bridge that will help in everything that we’re talking about.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
PM Netanyahu with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires. Photo: GPO/Avi Ohayon.(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Tuesday, 12 September 2017), in Buenos Aires, met with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and made the following remarks:
“Thank you President Macri, Mauricio, my friend.
I’m honored to be the first acting Israeli Prime Minister to visit Latin America. This is a historic moment for us. It’s incredible that in the 70 years of Israel’s existence, no Israeli Prime Minister visited any country in the western hemisphere south of the United States. And we are beginning here the dawn of a new era, and not accidentally we began it here in Argentina with you, Mr. President.
You came to Israel as a Mayor, we have visits of mayors in Israel every year, and now in recent years I’ve said to the new mayors who’ve come to Israel, I said, well, you too can be president, because here’s proof, just look at President Macri in Argentina. So this is truly the dawn of a new era, and it should have probably happened before. I can guarantee you one thing – the next visit of an Israeli Prime Minister in Argentina will not take 7 years, nor a visit of the President of Argentina in Israel, and I invite you, I take this opportunity to invite you warmly to come to Israel in your new position.
We are strong democracies, we are committed to seizing the future for our people, to give them a life of purpose, a life of progress, a life of realizing the potential that every one of our citizens has, and for this we have to realize that today the future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation, some say it’s the innovation nation, and we’re eager to share with Argentina the vast opportunities that come from innovation.
We are talking in this visit of how to do that in a variety of fields, in the fields of agriculture, of water, of IT, of cyber security, in the fields of health, in any field. We can make our air cleaner, our water safer to drink, we can produce more milk per cow, that’s actually what Israel does better than any country in the world, we can harvest crops in ways that are unimaginable, we can feed livestock in ways that are more economic and produce better results, we can change the health of our populations with digital health, we can drive our cars more safely, with less energy, with fewer accidents, all of these things are real things that are happening through technology, big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence that are changing our world for the better. And in all these things, we look forward to cooperating with Argentina, in specific ways that will change the world of our citizens, their lives for the better.
So we have discussed a number of ways that we can practically move these achievements forward, I have to say, President Macri, Mauricio that I followed with great admiration the efforts that you’re making to modernize your economy. I can tell you from my own experience, I wish to commiserate because it’s hard, but I also want to congratulate you, because it works. And the people understand that economic progress requires liberalization and effort and achievement, and this is something that I think places you among the leaders of the countries of the world who sees that technology and reforms give the future to our people.
We have a human bridge between our two countries, between Argentina and Israel, this is the Jewish community of Argentina, one of the largest in the world, a very proud community, that contributes much to Argentina, and may I say, 100,000 Jews from Argentina who came to Israel have contributed much to our own society in every field. This is the human bridge that will help in everything that we’re talking about – how to move our relationship, our friendship, to even higher levels. This community h as undergone two traumatic experiences in the bombings that took place in Buenos Aires in the Israeli embassy and then in the AMIA center, and it emerged stronger than before.
I appreciate, Mr. President, your commitment and the integrity of your position to discover what happened there, we know without a doubt that Iran and Hezbollah were backing up and in fact initiated these attacked, and can say that Iran’s terror has not stopped since then. They have a terror machine that encompasses the entire world, with their sidekick Hezbollah. They are operating terrorist cells through many continents, including Latin America, and the need to fight terrorism, whether from Iran of from Daesh, has now become a concern for all countries.
We understand that this terrorism attacks everyone – in Barcelona, in Berlin, in Manchester, in London, in Paris, in every country around the world terrorism strikes, and just as the attacks are indivisible, the response should be indivisible.
In the case of Iran, it is not merely terror, it’s also the quest for nuclear weapons that concerns us, and should concern the entire international community. We understand the dangers of rogue nations having atomic bombs.
In the case of Iran, there have been some new stories about Israel’s purported position on the nuclear deal with Iran. So let me take this opportunity and clarify: Our position is straightforward – This is a bad deal. Either fix it or cancel it. This is Israel’s position. I believe that we have opportunities now that have never been available to countries in the past, I think everything is becoming technologized, every single area. The difference between high technology and low technology is disappearing rapidly. We know that we can infuse technology into the lives of our countries much faster than people understand. And I think that we can do it better together.
So in this spirit, we begin our historic visit to South America, in this visit to Argentina, with a great hope for the better. And I thank you Mauricio for this very kind welcome.
Thank you. Thank you Mr. President.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Argentinian President Macri also signed a series of agreements:
1. A public security agreement: The goal of the agreement is to deepen and enhance cooperation between the police and other authorities of the two countries in thwarting and uncovering criminal offenses and in identifying their perpetrators mainly through the exchange of strategic and operational information as well as via direct cooperation between the authorized agencies at all levels. The agreement reflects the governments’ willingness to advance their interests through an awareness of the advantages of international cooperation as an important element in thwarting organized crime and in the effective struggle against it, and in protecting their populations, assets and interests against threats. The agreement is subject to ratification.
2. A social insurance agreement: The goal of the agreement is to develop and deepen the friendly relations between the two countries and organize cooperation in the field of social insurance such as old age pensions, support payments for the temporarily disabled, maternity payments, etc. The agreement is subject to ratification.
3. A customs agreement: The goal of the agreement is to provide mutual assistance in order to ensure the proper application of customs laws, the precise estimation of customs duties and other taxes on the import and export of goods, and the correct determination of the classification, value and origin of the aforesaid goods. The agreement is also designed to facilitate mutual assistance in preventing and fighting against customs offenses, including the investigation thereof and the prosecution of the perpetrators . The agreement authorizes the customs authorities on both sides to files requests for assistance and to engage in mutual and technical cooperation. The agreement is subject to ratification and will enter into effect 30 days after the conclusion of the ratification process on both sides.
4. A declaration regarding archival documents: This is a bilateral declaration to the effect that 139,544 historic documents and photographs from before and after World War II will be electronically transferred to Israel. The documents will enable a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and crimes against humanity. This is a joint initiative of the Argentinian Foreign Ministry and the US Holocaust Museum.