As part of his Israel visit, Paraguay President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday afternoon.
They held a private meeting and later signed a joint declaration summarizing President Cartes’ visit to Israel as well as bilateral agreements on cooperation in time of emergency, cooperation on legal matters, cooperation on education, the Holocaust and culture, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on technical development assistance for Paraguay. The two leaders then held an expanded meeting with the Paraguayan delegation which included the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, and Education and Culture, as well as other senior officials.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Paraguayan President Cartes discussed cooperation on a range of issues including security, agriculture, water and education. It was agreed that Israel would send a delegation to Paraguay to boost agricultural output and that Paraguay would send a delegation to Israel regarding electronic learning.
Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the visiting president: “President Cartes Horacio, bienvenidos. It’s my pleasure to welcome you and your entire delegation to Israel on this historic visit, the first visit of a president of Paraguay to Israel. It reflects something very deep, not only the growing partnership between our two countries but also your personal friendship for the State of Israel and some parallels in our history: Small countries surrounded by a lot of big countries, with whom they are not always on the friendliest terms. The hope of securing a prosperous, secure future in our [respective] regions. And I want to stress also the fact that you have taken a very forthright and courageous position to defend the truth about the State of Israel in difficult circumstances. Friends are tested in difficult times, and you are a great friend. We appreciate you and welcome you, welcome President Cartes.
“In Israel, we don’t take our friends for granted. On the contrary, we are committed to working with them to make us all stronger, safer and more prosperous. We are already working towards those goals — today we are going to sign several agreements to advance our cooperation. We are working together in development, in water management, and in agriculture, but I think the opportunities are truly limitless. And I look forward to intensifying that cooperation. We are going to sign agreements in science, in culture, in youth exchanges, in emergency management. If we work together, we can make the future of our people, our citizens, a better one. We are also interested in expanding our relationship with the countries of Latin America. You have been an anchor of friendship there, and we are eager to discuss with you the possibilities of increasing our cooperation with all the countries of Latin America which we think is a continent that has a great future. So we want to develop the future of our relations and through you, and with your help, the future of a broader relationship between Israel and the region, and the countries and the peoples of Latin America.
“Welcome to Jerusalem. Welcome friend.”
Netanyahu added, “May I reveal to the members of the press that there is a big map in my office, and it’s been made bigger. It used to be the Middle East. Now it encompasses a good chunk of the Eastern hemisphere and President Cartes said to me, ‘It’s not big enough, you should include Latin America. There’s a piece of Israel there.'”