Israel agrees to development cooperation with OAS


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel and the Organization of American States signed a memorandum of understanding consolidating decades of development cooperation.

The agreement signed Monday at OAS headquarters in Washington pledges to advance existing collaboration on education, environment, economic and social development, poverty, gender equity, disaster prevention and relief, agriculture, security and combating terrorism, and crisis management, according to a news release.

Israel has operated in the OAS sphere since at least 1972, when it was granted permanent observer status, and offers a number of fellowships and training programs for Latin Americans.

"We attach great importance to this special agreement, which reflects Israel’s vision of sharing responsibility with the nations of the world in confronting the global challenges that we face," said Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren, who signed the memorandum with José Miguel Insulza, the OAS secretary-general.

Israel especially wants to expand cooperation in combating terrorist financing, seen as a growing problem because of the increased influence in parts of Latin America of Hezbollah and Iran.

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