Argentine president to address summit of Jewish leaders in Buenos Aires


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s president will address an international summit of Jewish leaders meeting in Buenos Aires on the anniversary of the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy there.

More than 400 Jewish leaders are expected to gather for the Special Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress March 15-17 in conjunction with a meeting of the WJC Executive Committee. The plenary will include discussions on unresolved terror attacks like the embassy bombings, as well as the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital.

President Mauricio Macri will speak at the opening event of the assembly, where Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartés will be awarded the Latin American Jewish Congress’ Shalom Prize for his support of Israel.

WJC President Ronald Lauder said the gathering will be among the largest in Latin America of international Jewish leaders in recent decades.

“We look forward to fruitful discussions and to a show of solidarity with the Jewish community of Argentina, the largest and most vibrant in Latin America,” he said this week.

Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, told JTA that Argentina was chosen to host the meeting not only because it hosts the largest Jewish community in the region, but “also due a new stage of building bridges between the local Jewish community and the Argentinian government.”

Last December, the Macri government in its first week voided the agreement with Iran to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing.

As part of the program, the WJC will participate in the official ceremony marking this anniversary of the embassy bombing on March 17, 1992, and also will visit the rebuilt AMIA headquarters on the site of the attack. The embassy was bombed on March 17, 1992, killing 29 and injuring more than 200.

“We will make it clear that it’s not acceptable that today, more than two decades after the worst terrorist attacks against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the AMIA Jewish center, justice has yet to be done,” Lauder said. “We welcome President Macri’s decision to cancel the memorandum of understanding with Iran regarding the AMIA bombing probe and we hope that he will work diligently to ensure that no stone is left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

According to the Latin American Jewish Congress, Argentina is home to 230,000 Jews.

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