Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi amid the Pacific Island nation frequently supporting Israel and abstaining from critical votes against the Jewish state at the United Nations.

The two countries signed an agreement relating to visa exemptions for incoming tourists.

“There is an abiding friendship between Samoa and Israel, and we greet you here as a friend,” said Netanyahu at the start of the meeting in his office. “We appreciate your friendship, your support in international forums and your support for Israel joining the Asia Development Bank.”

Malielegaoi, who has been prime minister since 1998, said that his country gives “careful and considered support for Israel to the maximum extent possible” at the world body.

This visit to Israel was his first.

Malielegaoi also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who expressed regret about not having the time to visit Samoa when, as speaker of the Knesset, he visited New Zealand and Tonga.