Netanyahu lands in Australia in first visit by Israeli premier
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Israeli leader hails '100 years of friendship'

Netanyahu lands in Australia in first visit by Israeli premier

PM scheduled to meet with top government officials and Australian Jewish leaders before returning to Israel Sunday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara land in Australia on an official visit. February 21, 2017 (Haim Tzach / GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara land in Australia on an official visit. February 21, 2017 (Haim Tzach / GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in Australia on Wednesday in his second and final stop of a weeklong trip, marking the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has made an official visit Down Under.

After a two-day visit to Singapore, Netanyahu arrived in Sydney, where he was greeted at the airport by Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.

Upon landing, Netanyahu hailed “100 years of friendship” between Israel and Australia, referring to the liberation of the now Israeli city of Beersheba from the Ottoman Empire and saying “they fought alongside Jews in World War II to save Israel from a Nazi invasion.”

“They are far, but they are close,” he said. “And we are very happy to strengthen this closeness during this visit.”

The prime minister will stay in Sydney until Sunday, meeting with top government officials and senior leaders of the Jewish community before heading back to Israel.

Netanyahu will not travel to the country’s capital of Canberra during his visit, instead meeting with government officials at Sydney’s Commonwealth Parliament Offices, where the government convenes when it is not in the capital.

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