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PM Netanyahu Meets with Guatemalan President Morales Photo by Haim Zach (GPO)
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PM Netanyahu Meets with Guatemalan President Morales

29 November 2016

PM Netanyahu Meets with Guatemalan President Morales

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 29 November 2016), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, met with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. The two leaders discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation in water, agriculture, technology, medicine, tourism and intelligence.


Prime Minister Netanyahu:


"President Morales, it's a pleasure to welcome you and your delegation here in Jerusalem. I'm proud of the fact that this is your first visit outside of the Americas as President and I think it reflects this friendship between our two countries. It's real.


I grew up not very far from here and there is a Guatemala street. In just about every town in Israel there is a Guatemala Street because we remember Guatemala's friendship and the friendship and leadership of your UN Ambassador at the time of the decision on the Partition Resolution and so Guatemala was etched into our hearts then.


I admire the fact that you're making every effort to modernize Guatemala, its economy, its infrastructure, its agriculture. We just had the opportunity to speak briefly about the main concern. I asked you: 'What is the first thing you want to achieve?' And you said: 'I want to improve the water supply and the water system of my country.' And I said: 'You came to the right place.'


So we're eager to cooperate in the fields of water, agriculture, medicine, technology of every kind and many areas that I'm sure we'll develop in the course of our conversation. Israel is your friend. We view Guatemala as our friend. This is a friendship that has also been expressed in international forums. And I think there is a larger picture that I began speaking to you about and that is our interest in entering in a big way Latin America. Latin America has always been friendly to Israel but I think we're at a position where these relationships can be far, far, far advanced.


And I look forward to visiting Latin America and perhaps Guatemala since you just kindly gave me an invitation perhaps later in the year so I'll be able to reciprocate your visit here and once again, I want to thank you and welcome you as a friend. Welcome to Jerusalem."


Guatemalan President Morales:


"Thank you very much Prime Minister and I salute the people of Israel on behalf of the people of Guatemala.


Guatemala recognizes the strong leadership all over the world and the strong leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the leadership in so many different areas in your contemporary history.


In our conversation we spoke about the fact that a few years ago there was a water deficit in this country and thanks to the right management of water you have exceeding water at the moment. So this only shows that when the people of Israel want to make great change it succeeds with efficiency. And this is an example we would like to follow. So we are asking for your assistance and we want to deepen into our friendship so that we can work together.


The people of Guatemala have a lot of wealth in themselves. First of all, the people themselves, our population is young and if we continue on the right way with education and help and with a proper management of our resources, I'm sure that we will see a significant change very soon. So I extend my invitation to the Prime Minister to come and visit our region. I am sure that your visit would be of great assistance to our region to explore all the possibilities that are in the region and that we can work on together.


Finally, the world is changing and Guatemala wants to be part of the solution. It is in favor of building peace all over the world and especially in this beautiful place that has such a long history, as we have seen in the office with the King's Seal which bears the name of Netanyahu. God bless you and it's a great pleasure to be here in Israel."


Prime Minister Netanyahu:


"We invite all Guatemalans to visit Israel after the President. Roughly half the people are devout Christians and when you come here, Guatemalans of all faiths, you'll see a country with deep historical roots, this is where Judaism and Christianity began, but you'll also see a country that has branches to the sky in every field. And we welcome you to tour our past but to seize the future together. And this is an invitation to all the people of Guatemala, all of them."


Attached photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)