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Benjamin Netanyahu kicks off four-day visit to Australia, a first for an Israeli PM

Benjamin Netanyahu kicks off four-day visit to Australia, a first for an Israeli PM

Benjamin Netanyahu kicks off four-day visit to Australia, a first for an Israeli PMiStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Australia Wednesday, kicking off a four-day visit, marking the first time a serving Israeli prime minster has visited the country.

Netanyahu, joined by his wife Sara, landed in Sydney aboard an El Al aircraft from Singapore, where the Israeli leader met with Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.


Landed in Sydney for 1st-ever visit of an Israeli PM to Australia. Thanks for the warm welcome. I’m far from Israel, but feel at home. 🇮🇱🇦🇺

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 21, 2017



Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in Sydney, Australia.
PM Netanyahu will meet today with PM @TurnbullMalcolm and Governor-General Cosgrove.

— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 21, 2017


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote an op-ed Wednesday in The Australian newspaper, in which he expressed the country’s support of Israel and a two-state solution, as well as his disapproval of the United Nations’ “one-sided” resolutions.

“Australia was the first country to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution adopted by the General Assembly, which led to the establishment of Israel in 1948,” Turnbull writes. “The key role Australia played in ensuring the security and prosperity of the Jewish people should be a source of pride for us all.”

He continues, “Israel is a miraculous nation. It has flourished despite invasion, conflict and an almost complete lack of natural resources, other than the determination and genius of its people.”

Turnbull also cited “the brilliance and the enterprise of our almost 120,000-strong Jewish-Australian community.”


Welcome to Australia Bibi & Sara! @netanyahu

— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) February 22, 2017


In a nod to the recent United Nations Security Council resolution, Turnbull writes, “My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimise the Jewish state.”

He adds, “At the same time, we recognise that Israel and the Palestinians need to come to a settlement and we support a directly negotiated two-state solution so that Palestinians will have their own state and the people of Israel can be secure within agreed borders.”

Netanyahu — who aside from Turnbull, met with Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove — welcomed the comments made by Turnbull in his op-ed, telling reporters in Sydney, “I wasn’t surprised by the friendship expressed in the article but I had no advance warning so when I landed I was given the paper, I was delighted to read it … Australia has been courageously willing to puncture UN hypocrisy more than once.”


With @IsraeliPM‘s visit to #Australia, the bilateral #trade stats indicate a strong partnership between our countries:#IsraelinOZ

— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) February 21, 2017


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