A "Friend of Israel" in South America—Colombian President Visits Jerusalem

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Colombian President Ivan Duque was in Jerusalem this week on a mission to strengthen ties with Israel. Duque was there to be a part of the opening of a trade and innovation office in Jerusalem. While Colombia's embassy remains in Tel Aviv, the new office is believed to signify that the South American nation recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Duque and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met on Monday and "discussed bilateral cooperation in climate innovation" as well as Middle East security challenges, "especially the Iranian threat," according to a statement from Bennett's office.

Colombia seems to grasp the realities of the dynamics in the region. In January 2020, Colombia officially designated Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorist organizations.

"I will mention that we have been doing a great work in security because we value security as a democratic value and the cornerstone of any free society. But we also understand that security is a public good," Duque said. "So, we will continue to work jointly to fight common threats around the world but also to protect our people and to strengthen our cooperation."

President Duque also visited the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center during his three-day trip.

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