Argentina’s new President Javier Milei plans to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He announced the plan during a visit to Israel — his first overseas trip since assuming the presidency in December.
“You are a value-driven person committed only to truth, and it is no wonder that you chose to come to Israel immediately to support us in the just struggle to defend the Jewish people against Hamas terrorists,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz told the Argentinian president on his arrival.
“I thank you for recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and for your announcement now to relocate Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.” Mr. Katz added.
He’s the first Latin American leader to visit since the Hamas attacks in early October. Mr. Milei prayed at the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is said to be on the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and tomb. He also toured the Holocaust Memorial, visited a kibbutz attacked by Hamas terrorists and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and the families of Israeli hostages held captive in Gaza. He spoke to an Argentinian-Israeli who was taken hostage and released. Other Argentinian nationals are believed to be among those still being held.
President Milei’s visit has generated more excitement than usual over a foreign leader’s presence because he has previously spoken of his desire to convert to Judaism. Although raised a Catholic, he has close ties to Judaism, studying the religion and regularly consulting a rabbi from Argentina’s Moroccan community who will be the country’s ambassador to Israel.
The rabbi will oversee only the sixth foreign embassy based in Jerusalem. The United States notably made the move in 2018 under the presidency of Donald Trump after he recognised the city as Israel’s capital. Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea and Kosovo also have embassies in Jerusalem while Hungary and the Czech Republic have embassy branches.
Photo: Facebook – Benjamin Netanyahu