Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extends a warm welcome to controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The two leaders oversee the signing of three agreements in trade, science and caregiving. Netanyahu highlighted the countries’ long friendship: how the Philippines took in Jewish refugees after World War II and was the only Asian nation to vote for Israel’s establishment.
Netanyahu tells Duterte: “We remember our friends and that friendship has blossomed over the years and especially over the last few years.”
Duterte has been accused of condoning human rights abuses in his deadly drug crackdown and has made controversial comments about the Holocaust.
The 73-year-old Duterte says Israel and the Philippines “share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings.”
“But we also share the same passion of not allowing a country to be destroyed by those who [have] corrupt ideologies,” he adds in an apparent reference to his highly criticized drug crackdown.
“In this sense, Israel can expect any help that the Philippines can extend,” he adds.
— Agencies and Raphael Ahren