- Written by Spokesperson of the President's Office
For the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Colombia, Greece, Denmark, Romania and Argentina to the State of Israel
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Wednesday 8 July / 16 Tammuz, received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Colombia, Greece, Denmark, Romania and Argentina to the State of Israel. The official ceremony was held, for the first time, entirely in the hall of Beit HaNasi in line with the restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus. As each ambassador arrived, the national anthem of their country was played by the Israel Police Band and they reviewed an IDF honor guard reduced in size because of the restrictions. After presenting their letters of credence to the president, each one signed the Beit HaNasi visitors’ book and Hatikva was played at the end of the ceremony.
First to present her credentials to the president was the Ambassador of Colombia, Margarita Eliana Manjarrez Herrera, accompanied by her two daughters. The president welcomed her to Israel and said he appreciated the important relations between the two countries in the field of counter-terrorism. The president invited the Colombian president, a friend of Israel, to Jerusalem, and the ambassador replied that the President of Colombia would be delighted to accept the invitation.
“We have 63 years of strong diplomatic relations. My job is to strengthen the unique friendship between our countries,” said the ambassador.
The Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Panayotis N. Sarris, then presented his credentials. “Last month, we hosted the Greek prime minister and we hope to welcome your president to Jerusalem soon,” said the president. “Our friendship is based on our ancient cultures and our extensive cooperation, particularly in the field of energy – on which regional security and stability in the Mediterranean is based.”
The president remembered fondly his state visit to Greece, saying “It was one of the last visits with Nechama, my late wife, and she very much enjoyed the art and archeology. It helped us understand better the region we live in.” The president also noted Israel’s deep appreciation for Greece’s commitment to fighting antisemitism, and its support for Israel in the European Union and NATO.
The ambassador thanked the president, saying “Israel is very precious to us and we try as far as possible to be on your side. Since I arrived here as an experienced diplomat who has served in different countries, I have never felt as much at home as I do here in Israel. The cooperation between us is amazing.” The ambassador added that Greece is missing Israeli tourists and added his country’s appreciation for the dedication of many Israeli scientists to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The president then received credentials from the Danish ambassador, Anne Dorte Riggelsen, accompanied by her daughter. The president conveyed his best wishes to HM Queen Margarethe II who celebrated her 80th birthday recently.
“We will remember forever the heroic rescue of the Jews of Denmark during the Holocaust,” said the president. He also spoke warmly of the Danish Innovation Center in Tel Aviv which does so much for cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Riggelsen thanked the president, saying “I see great similarities between our two small countries that believe that they are not so small. Denmark aspires to a society that works in times of difficulty. To build a society that works for everyone. If I can be of help in the conversation between our two peoples - not just our two governments - I will leave here with a full heart.”
Next to present his credentials was the new ambassador of Romania to Israel, Radu Ioanid, who takes up his post after decades of service to the fight against antisemitism and for Holocaust memory. The president noted the leading role the ambassador played in the establishment of the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. He also noted Romania’s leading role in the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. “We appreciate it very much, as we do Romania’s support for Israel in international fora.”
After thanking the president, the ambassador said that Romania is proud to be at the forefront of the fight against antisemitism, and that he is sure that by working together, the two countries can contribute much to the world. The ambassador spoke of the intention to establish a museum dedicated to the history of the Jews of Romania, including the Holocaust.
Finally. Ambassador Sergio Daniel Urribarri of Argentina presented his credentials. The president congratulated the country on celebrating 204 years of independence. The president noted the important role Argentina plays in the international arena and the great potential for cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Urribarri thanked the president, saying “I will work to strengthen relations between our countries even more than before,” said the ambassador and conveyed to the president the personal best wishes of Pope Francis I whom he met recently, and of the President of Argentina.
Photo credits: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
- Written by Steven Aiello
The embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan celebrated Capital City Day and the 80th anniversary of the founding President of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, with a panel featuring multiple former prime ministers of Israel. Despite the Covid-19 challenges, a limited audience of VIPs joined in marking the momentous occasion of the octocententenial of one of the world’s most influential world leaders with a roundtable of panelists, live music, and tasty lunch at the Dan Accadia hotel in Herzliya.
The afternoon opened with a short video highlighting the splendors of Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan, named for H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, one of the world’s longest serving presidents, who presided over Kazakhstan’s growth and success for nearly 30 years, including the remarkable transfer of Kazakhstan’s capital city from Almaty to Astana, then renamed Nursultan.
H.E. Satybaldy Burshakov , the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Israel, opened his remarks by recalling the fateful decision in 1994 to move the capital of Kazakhstan to then-Astana, which had a mere 300,000 residents at the time. The ambassador noted that while initial reactions within Kazakhstan and abroad were mixed, the decision was both calculated and prescient -- a deliberate effort to bolster Kazakhstan’s diplomatic and commercial ties in the new post-Soviet Union Eurasian order, and a bold investment in bringing Kazakhstan into the future with a modern city. Today the undeniable success of Nur-Sultan is a testament to the vision of its namesake
Former Israeli prime minister Mr. Ehud Barak noted that in addition to being a personal friend and a good friend of Israel, President Nazarbayev must be credited for his historic role in shaping the future of his nation. He remarked that with the important position as the first president of Kazakhstan following independence, President Nazarbayev acted with courage as a true leader in making untold decisions critical to the direction of his country. Having visited Kazakhstan himself, Mr. Barak described the success in creating a capital city that is both innovative and quintessentially Kazakhstani. He recalled meeting American students at the molecular biology department of Nazarbayev university who had come to do research in the cutting-edge labs. In closing, the former prime minister described President Nazarbayev as a true friend of Israel and wished him, his family and his nation many years of health and success.
Former Ambassador of Israel to Kazakhstan H.E. Ambassador called President Nazarbayev “one of the most significant and influential political leaders of our times,” contributing to the formation of the new world order in Central Asia and Eurasia generally, and laying the ground for Kazakhstan’s economic, diplomatic, and political development.
Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov spoke in both Hebrew and Russian. He spoke about the flourishing people to people ties between Kazakhstan and Israel. Dr. Ben Yaakov informed the audience that Kazakhstan, as a Muslim nation and led by President Nazarbayev, played an important role in exemplifying the warm ties possible between Jews and Muslims, as it has throughout the history of the Kazakhi people. Several meetings of Jewish and Muslim religious leaders have been held in Kazakhstan to this effect.
Professor Victor Raditsky, who has met President Nazarbayev numerous times in his role as a translator, seconded this point. Recalling numerous meetings of important Jewish and Muslim leaders to which he had been personally witness, he noted that they were reviving a historical tradition of religious pluralism and Jewish-Muslim dialogue. This includes such illustrious Jewish sages as Maimonides and his son Abraham, who incorporated Islamic philosophical and mystical approaches into Jewish texts and practice, and also reflects the moderate ethos of Kazakhstan and Central Asian heritage.
The final panelist was former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. Mr. Olmert, who also visited Kazakhstan numerous times during his political career, described the broad influence of President Nazerbayev on Kazakhstan and Central Asia. He commended the president for successfully navigating the post-USSR world and establishing good relations with both Russia and the United States and their respective allies. Mr. Olmert said that he considered it a privilege to have signed the first trade cooperation between Israel and Kazakhstan, as a minister back in 2003, and noted that both he and his Kazakhstani counterpart ended up becoming prime ministers of their respective countries. In closing, Mr. Olmert offered his own blessing to President Nazarbayev to enjoy health and happiness “until 120 years of age” as per Jewish tradition.
Following the panel, guests were invited to a sumptuous catered lunch in the outdoor garden. There they also enjoyed live music performed by Expessia Show, with electric violins, and a photo montage showcasing vivid images of the city of Nursultan. Numerous books about Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev were available for guests to take home to read, as well as a special newspaper insert in Hebrew dedicated to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstani handicrafts added to the vibrant atmosphere, and the hotel staff did an excellent job providing a luxurious experience while maintaining Ministry of Health regulations.
The distinguished guests included former prime ministers of Israel Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox church in Jerusalem, Ambassador Michael Brodsky, Minister-Counsellor of the Eurasia and Balkans division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Alexander Tsinker, president of the International Center for Electoral Systems, Professor Victor Raditsky, Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov, CEO of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Tony Levy, External Relations, R&D Support - HIT – Holon Institute of Technology and other diplomats and civil society leaders.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates President Nazarbayev, Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov and the nation of Kazakhstan on this momentous occasion, and offers best wishes for future success and bilateral cooperation.
- Written by Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Embassy of Colombia
The Embassies of Colombia in Belgium, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and the Holy See
invite to the Conversation on the documentary Chiribiquete from the Series Colombia Bio
Guests Patricio Von Hildebrand
Explorer, expert in Chiribiquete
Carlos Arturo Ramírez Director of the documentary Chiribiquete
Juan Lucas Restrepo Director General, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Sebastian Fajardo Ph D – Researcher at Delft University of Technology
Language: English Date: June 23rd, 2020
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- Written by Philippine Embassy
Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial led a special celebration to commemorate the 122nd Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Balai Quezon, the Embassy’s cultural center, on 11 and 12 June 2020.
In line with the Israeli Ministry of Health’s recommendations to practice safety precautions and physical distancing, the Embassy held a scaled-down diplomatic reception, which was streamed live to other guests via the Embassy’s official Facebook page. Only three key representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs were physically present during the reception: Ambassador Meron Reuben, Chief of State Protocol; Ambassador Gilad Cohen, Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific; and Ambassador Gil Haskel, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and head of MASHAV.
Friends of the Philippines, led by Knesset Speaker MK Yariv Levin, extended their congratulations through pre-recorded video greetings. The reception featured two performances, also pre-recorded on video: a stirring interpretation of Maalaala Mo Kaya (“Will You Remember?”), a Filipino love song, by award-winning soprano Ms. Francis Anne Virtudazo; and a special cover of “With a Smile”, a pop-rock ballad, by Embassy personnel, who dedicated their performance to frontliners in the fight against Covid-19, particularly those caring for the elderly and other vulnerable populations.
During the exchange of toasts, Ambassador Imperial shared that this year’s unique celebration had been inspired by the “e-reception” with President Reuven Rivlin for Israel’s Independence Day celebration in April. Noting the challenges posed to diplomacy by the pandemic, the ambassador admitted that “it has been difficult at times to see, or even imagine, what the way forward might look like.” He concluded, however, that the “shared values and dreams” between the Philippines and Israel will “give us the courage to move forward”, thanking Israel for its support of the Embassy’s efforts to assist Filipinos in distress and its donation of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) to frontliners in the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Ambassador Reuben, Ambassador Cohen, and Ambassador Haskel responded individually to the toast, affirming Israel’s commitment to continuing to pursue strengthened relations with the Philippines. Ambassador Cohen noted that this year, Israel plans to expand its diplomatic presence in the Philippines by deploying a military attache to Manila, opening an Israeli honorary consulate in Mindanao, and possibly opening an Israeli trade and economic office in Manila.
The following day, Ambassador Neal Imperial led a flag-raising ceremony to mark the actual date of the anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence, accompanied by Consul General Randy Arquiza, Labor Attaché Rodolfo Gabasan, and Defense and Armed Forces Attaché Colonel Raul Villanueva. Joining them were Fr. Carlos Santos, Guardian of Saint Peter’s Church in Jaffa, and Mr. Simha “Simi” Salpeter, “Kaanib ng Bayan” Presidential Awardee in 2010.
The ceremony was followed by a short program starting with the reading of messages of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, and Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, all of which were also streamed live on the Embassy’s official Facebook page. Leaders and representatives of the Filipino community in Israel joined the program via pre-recorded videos, wishing their countrymen a happy Independence Day.
For those who were unable to join in real time, the Embassy has uploaded videos of the events to its official Facebook page, Philippine Embassy in Israel (www.facebook.com/PHInIsrael) and its official YouTube channel, PHinIsrael(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg9ZpLDZ4S0CRXy-G_gWe-w).
Philippine Embassy officials led by Ambassador Neal Imperial (center, left) and officials from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Chief of State Protocol Ambassador Meron Reuben (center, right) practicing social distancing and complying with the Israeli Ministry of Health’s recommendation to wear facemasks.
MASHAV Head Ambassador Gil Haskel (left) and Ambassador Neal Imperial (right) greeting each other with an elbow bump.
Photos courtesy Embassy of the Philippines