President Alberto Fernández has landed in Israel, the destination of his first international trip as head of state, where he will participate in an international forum to remember the Holocaust and victims.
The Peronist leader arrived at 2.02pm local time, 9.02am in Argentina, at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, on commercial Alitalia flight AZ806.
The president faces a packed schedule for his first foreign trip since taking office on December 10. Tonight he will attend a dinner hosted by Israeli president Reuven Rivlin inaugurating the “International Forum of Leaders in Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Fight Against anti-Semitism,” an event which will officially take place the next day at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
Sources at the Israeli Embassy have confirmed to the Times that Fernández is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin. Additionally, a source at the Foreign Ministry told the Times this morning that Fernández will have a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently facing bribery and corruption charges, shortly after his meeting with Rivlin.
Fernández also hopes to meet with Emmanuel Macron of France and Vladimir Putin of Russia, according to reports.
The Frente de Todos leader will stay at Jerusalem’s historic King David Hotel for the duration of his trip. Tonight, he will go to the Presidential Residence of Israel, where he will be received by Rivlin. At around 7,30pm (2.30pm in Argentina), the Israeli president will host a dinner for world leaders.
On Thursday morning, Fernández will leave for Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, where representatives from around the world will participate in a remembrance ceremony. After the event, Fernández will then participate in a private reception for world leaders and high-level officials.
Other Argentine community figureheads and leaders, including the president of the DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas), Jorge Knoblovits, AMIA President Ariel Eichbaum, and the president of the Latin American Jewish Congress, Adrián Werthein, have also been extended invitations for this event.
The Argentine delegation to Israel includes the First Lady Fabiola Yáñez, Foreign Minister Felipe Solá, Presidential Spokesperson Juan Pablo Biondi, Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof and national lawmaker Eduardo Valdés.
The trip comes on the heels of the five-year anniversary of the death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who days before had famously accused former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of attempting to cover up alleged Iranian involvement in the 1994 AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) bombing, which left 85 dead.
Earlier this week, the Financial Information Unit (UIF), a group within the Argentine Economic Ministry, froze various assets thought to belong to Hezbollah, the terror group financed by Iran widely believed to be responsible for the AMIA attack.
With Fernández abroad, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner officially again becomes head of state for the first time since she departed the Casa Rosada some 1,500 days ago.