Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday for a three-day official visit in Israel, during which he will inaugurate the country’s trade office in Jerusalem.
Duque is accompanied by six ministers, including the ministers of defense, trade, health, agriculture, environment, and transportation, and is slated to meet with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and will participate in a number of economic events with an emphasis on increasing bilateral ties.
Deputy Minister Abir Kara was at the airport to receive the delegation.
Upon landing, Duque tweeted that Israel is “a country with which we have historical relationships.”
“We arrived to materialize specific agreements derived from the FTA and attract investment in technology, science, health and innovation, consolidating ourselves as your main ally in Latin America,” he stated.
Israel and Colombia launched a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in August 2020. Colombia is the third-largest economy in Latin America, and the FTA created opportunities for the Israeli economy in various fields including agriculture, technology and medicine, and allows 97% of Colombian products to be free of tariffs and for Colombian investors to see business opportunities in Israel
Duque is slated to open on Tuesday Colombia’s trade and innovation office in Jerusalem, an extension of its Tel Aviv embassy,
When launching the FTA, Duque announced he would open an innovation office in Jerusalem, close to the Israel Innovation Authority, a Colombian diplomatic presence in Israel’s capital.
The US was the first country to make the historic move and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv in May 2018. Guatemala followed suit shortly after.
Honduras inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem in June 2021, and Kosovo opened its embassy in the city in March.
The Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Equatorial Guinea have announced their intentions to open embassies in Jerusalem.
Brazil and Honduras have trade offices in Jerusalem.