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Netanyahu talks climate change with Pacific region leaders

"We have so much in common," the Israeli prime minister told leaders of Palau, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (fourth from right) meets with with leaders of countries in the Pacific region on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 21, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (fourth from right) meets with with leaders of countries in the Pacific region on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 21, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

“You’ve been wonderful friends of Israel. Israel is your friend. And we have so much in common,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told leaders of Pacific region countries during a Sept. 21 meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.

The group included Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr.; Nauru President Russ Kun; Marshall Islands President David Kabua; Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka; New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso; and Henry Puna, secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Netanyahu thanked the group for supporting Israel over the years, and thanked the leaders of Fiji and Nauru for stating during the meeting that they are working to open embassies in Israel soon, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

He also noted that Israel is a “global center in innovation and capabilities for dealing with the climate crisis that endangers humanity in general and island states, in particular,” and suggested finding ways to address the effects of climate change on that group of islands, according to the statement.

Last month, Israel established diplomatic ties with Niue, an island in the South Pacific. Earlier this month, Papua New Guinea opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

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