Florida Governor Ron DeSantis arrives with his wife Casey to hear U.S. President Donald Trump to speak about the crisis in Venezuela at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2019.
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis will lead a business development mission to Israel in his first international trip since taking office.
"I promised to be the most pro-Israel governor in America and that the first delegation I would lead would be to the State of Israel," DeSantis said during a visit to Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, Florida, this week.
"Today, I’m pleased to report that I’m keeping that promise. Our delegation will bring business, academic and political leaders to help strengthen the bond between Florida and Israel."
The aim of the six-day visit from May 25 through May 31, the Republican governor's office said, is to strengthen the economic bonds between Israel and Florida and to connect academic institutions to facilitate scientific solutions for Florida's environmental challenges, such as red tide.
During the mission, the delegation will visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and DeSantis will hold a cabinet meeting at the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
"Thank you, Governor DeSantis for making this trade mission a high priority for Florida," said Jamal Sowell, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, who is helping to host the mission.
"Enterprise Florida looks forward to hosting this historic trade mission and expanding international trade opportunities with Israel."
DeSantis will also give the keynote address at the 2019 Israel-American Business Summit, hosted by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the US Embassy.
In January, shortly after taking office, DeSantis called for at least $2 million in recurring funding for security for Jewish day schools in response to the deadly October 2018 attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.
DeSantis also blacklisted Airbnb, prohibiting state agencies from conducting state business with the home rentals platform, after the company announced that it would be delisting properties in West Bank settlements.
Following the settlement of a lawsuit advanced by non-governmental organization Shurat Hadin, Airbnb reversed the decision earlier this week.
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