August 23, 2023 — Montevideo, Uruguay
An American Jewish Committee (AJC) delegation headed by AJC CEO Ted Deutch met with Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou, who leads a nation that has been a friend of Israel since the birth of the Jewish State.
Deutch hailed the longstanding ties between Uruguay and Israel as a model to boost relations with other Latin American countries.
“Uruguay has long given a warm embrace to its Jewish community as well as to Israel,” Deutch said. “It was an honor to meet with President Lacalle Pou, who is not only a staunch ally of Israel but has fully committed his nation to the fight against antisemitism.”
The delegation met Tuesday with Lacalle Pou at the Executive Tower in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital.
Uruguay became the first South American nation to recognize Israel—four days after Israel declared its independence in 1948—and is home to the first Israeli embassy in South America.
Lacalle Pou spoke in a video address at this year’s AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv, where he called the ties between Uruguay and Israel “historical and unbreakable.” He also fondly recalled his 2018 trip to Israel with AJC Project Interchange, an AJC institute that brings global leaders to Israel.
On Monday, Deutch formally signed a partnership agreement with Comite Central Israelita de Uruguay, the main Jewish communal organization in Uruguay. The association agreement–AJC’s 38th with Jewish communities around the world and the 15th with communities in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal–was established virtually in 2022.
The delegation also met in Montevideo with the U.S. Ambassador Heide Fulton, Israeli Ambassador Michal Hershkovitz, and AJC Project Interchange alumni, who include top government, congressional, and media leaders.
The delegation left Montevideo today for three days of meetings and events in neighboring Argentina.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 15 overseas posts, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.
AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs fosters collaborative ties among the U.S., Iberoamérica, and Israel and builds coalitions with Latinos in the U.S.