Argentine president Alberto Fernández will visit Jerusalem this week to participate in the International Leaders Forum in Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, which will constitute his first official trip overseas after taking office on December 10.
During the meeting Fernandez will share a private dinner with the heads of government who will participate in the meeting, with the possibility of arranging bilateral meetings.
Fernandez will travel to Israel on a commercial line flight on Tuesday and will begin his agenda in that country on Wednesday, when he attends dinner at night that will be offered to leaders from all over the world to participate in the Forum.
The presidential trip to Israel is relevant for Argentina because it aims to strengthen the link with a State that, with Benjamin Netanyahu in power, he had maintained a privileged relationship with Mauricio Macri, whom he visited in Buenos Aires. It also constitutes a positive signal towards the United States, Israel’s main ally in the world, at a time when the country faces a decisive stretch of debt negotiation and will require the help of Donald Trump in international multilateral financial organizations.
Fernandez’s agenda will continue on Thursday with his participation in a ceremony to be held at Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial, along with other international leaders, including the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, the one from Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, within a total of 40 dignitaries, especially from Europe. The host will be the Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin.
In this context, bilateral meetings are expected, although there are no confirmations in this regard.
Fernandez will be accompanied by an important entourage. In addition to the first lady, Fabiola Yañez, the chancellor will be part, Felipe Sola; the appointed ambassador to that country, Sergio Urribarri; and the presidential spokesperson, Juan Pablo Biondi.
The Buenos Aires governor will also attend, Axel Kicillof, and the deputy Eduardo Valdes, according to information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On Friday, when the forum concludes – this year convened under the slogan “Remembering the Holocaust and fighting against anti-Semitism” – Fernandez will leave for Argentina, to arrive in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
Last week, when the president’s decision to attend the tributes was known, the director of the Latin American Department at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Modi Ephraim, had considered that its presence “is a sign of the commitment of the Argentine government in the fight against anti-Semitism” and stressed “the importance of the relationship with the Jewish community in Argentina, the largest and most important in Latin America,” according to statements to the AJN news agency.
Argentina will also be attending the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Argentine ambassador in Warsaw, Ana María Ramírez will attend the ceremony on January 27 at Oeswiecim.
Argentina since 2002 is the only full member in Latin America of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA. In this framework the current ambassador in Belgium, Pablo Grinspun attended a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, as rotating president of IHRA. A document continuing the commitment to combat anti-Semitism is expected.