The Miami Herald | 7/27/2009 12:00:00 AM
Israel fortifies presence in Latin America
Jul 27--Until not too long ago, Latin America was a distant observer of the Middle East conflict. That's changing really fast and -- for good or for bad -- will change faster in the future.
Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is currently on a 10-day visit to Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia in the first Latin American tour by an Israeli foreign minister in 23 years. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Brazil, Argentina and perhaps a third country in the region in November, in what would be the first such visit in recent memory, Israeli officials say.
In a telephone interview from Buenos Aires, where she was accompanying the Israeli foreign minister, Dorit Shavit, the head of the Israeli foreign ministry's Latin American Department, told me that Lieberman's visit is aimed at strengthening Israel's relations with the region and countering Iran's growing influence in Latin America.
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