In an ongoing effort to cement ties with friendly countries, and to deepen
cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, Foreign Minister Peres visited
Venezuela and Argentina for meetings with their leaders, members of the
business community and the Jewish community.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres arrived on 11.1.95, for a day-and-a-half
long official visit to Caracas, Venezuela.
Immediately upon his arrival, a press conference, in which 150 foreign and
local journalists participated, was held.
The journalists asked the Foreign Minister about the possibility that
Israel would contribute to Venezuela based upon its accumulated experience
in the area of internal security. Caracas today is one of the most violent
cities in the world, a problem that interferes greatly with day-to-day
Foreign Minister Peres responded: "We did not come to Venezuela to advise
on security matters, but if Venezuela does turn to the Government of
Israel for the purpose of advising on security matters, we would be happy
to assist them."
"The reception that was given for Foreign Minister Peres was
unprecedented", noted Venezuelan Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Burelli
Rivas. Also present were all of the members of the Venezuelan Government
and representatives of the various communities, including the Muslim
community. As it is widely known, the largest mosque in South America is
located in Caracas, which has the largest Muslim community on the
On (Thursday), 12.1.95, Peres met with the Jewish community, spoke at the
Jewish school, and placed a wreath at the grave of Simon Bolivar. In the
course of the day, Peres met in a working meeting with the Foreign
Minister and was hosted for a meal by President Caldera.
Later that afternoon, Foreign Minister Peres received an honorary
doctorate from Bolivar University and then flew that evening for an
official visit to Argentina.
In Buenos Aires the Foreign Minister met with President Menem, who
recently returned from Syria. Foreign Minister Peres also met with the
Jewish community there.