President Rodrigo Roa Duterte embarks on a historic Official Visit to the State of Israel from September 2 to 5, 2018 to renew and expand ties with the State.
Coinciding with the President’s visit are the 81st anniversary of the open door policy of the former Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Manuel L. Quezon, the 71st anniversary of the United Nations partition plan which the Philippines supported, and the commemoration of the 61st anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the Republic of the Philippines and Israel.
In 1930s, the Philippines — under former Commonwealth President Quezon — accepted Jews who are fleeing from the Holocaust in Europe through the open door policy. Around 1,300 Jewish refugees entered the country that time. This humanitarian gesture was commemorated through the establishment of the Open Doors Monument in Rishon LeZion unveiled in 2009. President Duterte is set to visit the monument in Israel.
On November 29, 1947, the Philippines was the only Asian country which voted for the United Nations Resolution 181 for the partition plan for Palestine which paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.
“Thanks to those pivotal events in our shared history with Israel, there was a tremendous amount of goodwill between our two nations, our two governments, and our two peoples. This is the reason why Filipinos can go to Israel without a visa for tourism purposes. And this is the reason why there is development cooperation between Israel and the Philippines,” H.E. Nathaniel Imperial, Philippine Ambassador to Israel, said.
During his Official Visit, President Duterte is expected to meet with the members of the Filipino community in the State, and shall serve as a witness for the signing of agreements in the areas of labor, science, and investment between the two countries.
“We consider this visit extremely important. We considered it [a] historic visit and we hope to transform this historic relationship and this enduring friendship into a more vibrant and stronger partnership,” Ambassador Imperial explained.
The two nations established full diplomatic relations in 1957 through the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on February 26, 1958. Throughout its 61 years of formal diplomatic relations, President Duterte is the first Philippine Chief Executive to visit Israel.
After Israel, President Duterte proceeds to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for an official visit.
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Activities in Israel