PM Netanyahu and Mexican President Nieto sign the cooperation agreement. (GPO)

“We have established 65 years of diplomatic relations, but those relations are gathering steam now,” Netanyahu declared in Mexico, after signing three agreements with the country. 

During his historic visit to Latin America last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City and signed a bilateral and trilateral development cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU, to be implemented by MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, is designed to facilitate cooperation in international development that will focus on water, agriculture, and innovation.

Under the terms of the MOU, cooperation will include the exchange of knowledge, recommended work methods and mutual assistance to third countries.

Israel also signed an aviation agreement with Mexico with the objective of developing air services between the countries, including regular passenger flights, and a space agreement whose goal is to create the legal infrastructure for cooperation between the two countries’ space agencies on peaceful joint space research projects.

During their meeting, Netanyahu thanked Pena Nieto for his “personal friendship, for the friendship of Mexico.”

Netanyahu called the visit “a milestone,” a correction of an “historic lapse,” in which no Israeli leader made an official visit to Latin America since the establishment of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu lauded Mexico as “a great country. It’s one of the world’s great economies, it’s a great nation, a great people, a great culture. We want to be close, even closer to Mexico, and this is what this meeting signifies.”

“We have established 65 years of diplomatic relations, but those relations are gathering steam now,” Netanyahu declared.

“The main theme of our meeting, of our agreements, of our partnership,” Netanyahu said, is both countries’ “eager[ness] to seize the future.” Netanyahu stressed, “And it’s important to understand that the future is rushing at us with great speed. Those countries that will enjoy the future are those that will innovate. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is known as the ‘innovation nation.’ We believe that through our partnership, we can bring the fruits of this innovation to the people of Mexico.”

Netanyahu’s meeting with Pena Nieto was one of several the Israeli leader held with Latin American leaders during his 10-day historic trip to the region, the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister.