Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, on Sep. 3, 2018. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte received a warm welcome by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, as the Phipilline president started his visit in Israel. (Xinhua/Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/JINI)
JERUSALEM, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte received a warm welcome by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, as the Phipilline president started his visit in Israel.
In the first such visit by a Philippine president, the two leaders signed three bilateral agreements.
One of the agreements aims to improve the work conditions of Filipino workers in Israel, most of whom work as health aides for the elder, while the other two seek to boost bilateral science cooperation and encourage investments and financial cooperation.
The arms deal is at the heart of Duterte's visit. His government has recently purchased Israeli-made weapons such as Galil assault rifles and pistols for its 120,000-strong police personnel.
Israel is among the world's top arms dealers, with nearly 60 percent of its defense exports going to the Asia-Pacific region, according to Israeli defense ministry data.
On Wednesday, Duterte is expected to lay wreaths at the Open Doors Monument in Rishon Letzion, 8 km south of Tel Aviv, in commemoration of the Philippines' efforts to save the Jews during the Holocaust.
Duterte started his four-day visit in Israel on Sunday night by attending an event with the Filipino community in Israel, which included some 76,000 Filipino workers.