FM Cohen makes rare visit to Philippines to boost ties

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (R) meets Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Manila, June 5, 2023 (Foreign  Ministry)
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (R) meets Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Manila, June 5, 2023 (Foreign Ministry)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen meets in Manila with Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Cohen stressed the opportunities offered by the Abraham Accords, and by the Saudis opening their skies to Israeli commercial flights, shortening the travel time to Asia.

Cohen pushes the idea of a land-sea network between the Far East and Europe that passes through the Middle East.

Manalo tweets that they discussed expanding cooperation in “trade, defense, agriculture and people-to-people exchange, to further deepen our strong and historic ties.”

Cohen also meets members of the local Jewish community and Philippine business leaders. He is the first top Israeli diplomat to fly to Manila since 1967, when Abba Eban visited the Philippine capital.

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