Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Colombian President Iván Duque held a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday, and Bennett thanked the South American leader “for leading a strategic change in our relationship.”
Duque, on his part, called for a tripling of investment and trade between the two countries.
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Israel and Colombia have “reached the highest point in our bilateral relationship, we are going to take it even to a new level,” Duque said and invited Bennett to visit his country.
Duque is visiting Israel for the opening of a trade and innovation office in Jerusalem. Following his meeting with Bennett, he tweeted that he and Bennett had found “common ground in our bilateral relationship” and were working to “strengthen commercial ties and support for technology and innovation.”
According to a readout of the meeting released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders “discussed cooperation between the two countries in the field of climate innovation” as well as “common security challenges, with an emphasis on the Iranian threat.”
“Over the years, relations between Israel and Colombia have developed greatly, and your visit to Jerusalem, designed to open Colombia's first innovation center, is a sign that relations between us are stronger than ever,” Bennett said on Monday.
“Technology and innovation can do extraordinary things, not just for our countries but for the entire world,” he continued, adding that innovation is “just one of the different types of bilateral ties that exist between our countries.”
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Earlier in the day, Duque met with President Isaac Herzog, who cast Bogotá and Jerusalem as allies against Iranian aggression, saying that “like Israel, I know that Colombia is concerned about Iran and Hezbollah’s terror cells being established on your border with Venezuela. From many years of experience, it is clear that these forces must be stopped swiftly – if not a minute sooner.”
As with Bennett, Duque told Herzog that “we are at a high point of bilateral relations, expressed in my government’s ratification of a free trade agreement between Israel and Colombia.”
“The importance of this treaty is to attract commerce and investment. We want to triple exports in the next few years. We want to boost connectivity, artificial intelligence, internet of things, agricultural technology and attract more Israeli technology in our country,” Duque told the president.