MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Israel in September, making him the first Philippine leader to visit the Jewish state, his top aide confirmed Wednesday.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go told ABS-CBN News that the visit will take place in September, although the exact dates are still being finalized by the two countries.
“There will still be a joint official announcement on the dates in September,” Go told ABS-CBN News.
Duterte was supposed to visit Israel in May last year but it was canceled as the government dealt with the Marawi siege.
Israeli online news site The Times of Israel also quoted an Israeli official as confirming that Duterte will visit Israel.
Israeli news reports said Duterte will sign agreements on Filipinos who provide long-term care in Israel, and combating drug trade.
The President will also reportedly discuss with Israeli officials the establishment of a direct flight route between Israel and the Philippines, agricultural cooperation and security deals.
Duterte courted controversy in September 2016 when he compared himself to Adolf Hitler, saying he would be happy to slaughter 3 million drug addicts like what the Nazi leader did to Jews.