MANILA – Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau met with President Benigno Aquino III as he pitched efforts to strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Both Aquino and Matityau exchanged views on strengthening Israeli-Philippine relations, particularly in the areas of high-tech innovation, research and development, emergency preparedness and agro-technology.
The new Israeli envoy also pushed for the implementation of a joint committee for science and technology as proposed earlier by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
“With this kind of initiative, we can reach a new chapter in our developing relations. Israel’s position as a HiTech Nation and the Philippines aspirations are a perfect match – from new challenges of the CyberTech to BioTech, NanoTech or AgriTech – the future is full of opportunities,” he said.
Matityau highlighted the strong relationship between the two nations, which has spanned years.
He noted that 1,300 Jewish people were saved by the Philippine government under President Manuel Quezon during the Holocaust.
He also noted the Philippines gave one vote for the United Nations resolution for the creation of the state of Israel.
“Next year, we are going to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of Manila. On that occasion, we hope to dedicate a friendship monument in Manila presented by the people of Israel in appreciation to the Filipino people,” he said.
“Israel has 1,301 good reasons to thank the Philippines and you Mr. President. Your nation has 1,301 good reasons to stand proud before the family of nations as a role model.”
He said Israel’s door is also open to Filipinos.
“We hope to see 540 Filipino students coming over to Israel in a unique 11-month internship in agriculture. The door is open to so many more opportunities to the benefit of our nations,” he said.