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Thursday, 16 December 2021 / 12 Tevet 5782

 President Isaac Herzog today received the credentials of the new ambassadors of El Salvador, Malta, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Nauru upon the assumption of their diplomatic duties in Israel. The incoming ambassadors were welcomed by the IDF Band playing their respective national anthems and inspected an IDF honor guard, after which they presented their letters of credence to the President in the Great Hall of the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The ambassadors held a working meeting with the President and then signed the guest book. At the end of each credentials ceremony, the Israeli national anthem was played.


The first ambassador to present her letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador, H.E. Susana Edith Gun de Hasenson, who is returning for her second posting as El Salvador’s ambassador in Israel. President Herzog and the Salvadoran ambassador discussed President Nayib Bukele’s plan to establish a “Bitcoin City” powered by volcanic energy and talked about El Salvador’s growing economy.




The second ambassador to present her letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Malta, H.E. Cecilia Attard Pirotta, who is also returning for her second posting as Malta’s ambassador in Israel. President Herzog and the Maltese ambassador discussed Mediterranean regional affairs and opportunities to enhance diplomatic, economic, and people-to-people ties between Israel and Malta in order to improve relations at both bilateral and multilateral levels. They also discussed opportunities to enhance reciprocal tourism, and the President noted that thanks to direct Tel Aviv-Valletta flights, Israelis have fallen in love with Malta.



The third ambassador to present her letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica, H.E. Rita María Hernández Bolaños. President Herzog: “Costa Rica is especially beloved by us. It has been a friend of Israel since its establishment, and we will always remember its support. It is a country that Israelis who visit love intensely.” The President and the Costa Rican ambassador also discussed opportunities to collaborate on environmental issues, with a focus on sustainability and environmental technologies.




The fourth ambassador to present her letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador, H.E. Helen Sophie Deller Klein. The President and the Ecuadorian ambassador discussed their nations’ shared desire to build a closer relationship, with a focus on technology and agriculture. The ambassador noted with pride that she is Ecuador’s first Jewish ambassador in Israel and told the President about her family’s remarkable escape from Nazi-occupied Europe to Latin America. President Herzog and Ambassador Deller Klein discussed Ecuador’s remarkable biodiversity, and the President noted that Israeli tourists will greatly enjoy traveling around Ecuador.



The last ambassador to present her letter of credence was the Non-Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Nauru, Margo Deiye, who is also accredited as Nauru’s permanent representative to the United Nations. The President expressed his concerns about the effects of climate change on the Pacific island nations and discussed with the ambassador Nauru’s efforts to confront rising sea levels. The President thanked Nauru for its prompt recognition of Jerusalem as the State of Israel’s capital after the United States. They also discussed Israel and Nauru’s collaboration through the MASHAV international development agency.


Photos: Kobi Gideon/GPO.





 H.E. Mr. Satybaldy Burshakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan and his wife Mrs Maira Karakeshova, hosted a joyous reception at the Dan Tel Aviv hotel on Tuesday evening, marking the 30th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The evening celebrated Kazakhstan’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, as well as the country’s development in the last three decades, and its strong bilateral ties with Israel.


At the entry all of the guests received a special 30th anniversary edition of the SonoMask featuring the flags of Israel and Kazakhstan from industry leader Sonovia, ensuring that the evening would be celebrated in comfort, safety and style.


H.E. Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov opened the evening with a short presentation about the transformation that the republic of Kazakhstan has undergone in thirty years since achieving independence in 1991. The ambassador noted that the initial years as an independent country were difficult, with high unemployment and inflation and low economic growth. But under the leadership of the first president, Nursultan Nazabayev, and continued by current president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakhstan has become a success story–it’s economic development evidenced by the glittering skylines of Nur-Sultan and Almaty.

Ambassador Burshakov thanked the President of Israel, H.E. Isaac Herzog, who remarked on Kazakhstan’s contributions to “peace, stability and mutual understanding in the region and beyond” during his congratulatory remarks to Kazakhstan. The ambassador highlighted the historic contributions of Jewish citizens to Kazakhstan culture, science, economy, and industry. Focusing on the present challenges of Covid-19, the ambassador cited some of the areas of cooperation between the countries: partnerships with Israeli companies like Aid Genomics, Elbit Systems, Defense Engineering Solutions, and Sonovia, virtual conferences between public health experts in Israel and Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstani doctors serving in leading Israeli hospitals.

Among the other important milestones commemorated by the embassy, were the 2020 celebration of the great philosopher Aby Nassr Al-Farabi, celebrated under the auspices of UNESCO, which included installing a memorial plaque in the city of Haifa on the street named after Al-Farabi, and the 175th anniversary of the great Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayuly, whose book "The words of wisdom” was translated to Hebrew for the occasion.


Israeli Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov spoke following the ambassador’s speech. Minister Razvozov noted that Israel’s diplomatic relationship with Kazakhstan, beginning with Kazakhstan’s first year as an independent state, is founded on “mutual

efforts to promote innovation, co-existence and dialogue.” That relationship has only strengthened in recent years, with the latest achievement being the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two national development agencies Mashav and KazAid, and Kazakhstan’s staunch support for Israel in various international forums.


The minister recalled that Kazakhstan’s friendship with Israel is built on historical ties, as during World War II “the Kazakh leadership and people welcomed with open arms” Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis.


Minister Razvozov mentioned that he had the opportunity to visit Nur-Sultan earlier this year, where he met with the Minister of Trade and Integration, Mr. Bakhyt Sultanov, co-chair of the Joint Economic Commission, and attended the 6th ministerial meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In closing, the minister wished the people and government of Kazakhstan a happy anniversary day on behalf of the state of Israel.



Following the speeches, the ambassadors offered a toast to the continued success of Kazakhstan, and Israel-Kazakhstan ties. The guests then enjoyed a lavish dinner, as well as an artistic display highlighting the beauty of Kazakhstan and its diverse regions, and an impressive collection of publications showcasing Kazakhstan’s cultural and historical richness. The highlight however was a Yurt, a traditional Kazakh tent which reflects the nomadic lifestyle of Central Asia. Guests waited for their turn to walk around inside the Yurt, and take photos in traditional clothing.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance were Yoel Razvozov, Israel’s Minister of Tourism; Member of Knesset Elina Bardachyalov; The new Ambassador of Israel in Kazakhstan, H.E. Edwin Yabo Glusman; Mr. David Luxemburg, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Israel; Ambassador Gil Haskel, head of protocol and former director of Mashav; Michal Hershkovitz, Director of the Central Asia and Caucasus Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Panigar Baibekov, Consul at the embassy of Kazakhstan; Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, Executive Director of WJC Israel section and Director of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations; Mr. Shuki Herchcovici, founder of Sonovia; Ms. Olga Gelfand, chairman, member of the Coordinating Council of the Compatriots of Russia in Israel, and supermarket mogul Mr. Rami Levi.

www.Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the embassy of Kazakhstan on 30 years of independence.


Photos by Silvia Graciela Golan

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Steven Aiello



 Photo: President Herzog with Ambassador of  European Union, H.E. Mr. Dimiter Tzantchev


Today, President Isaac Herzog received the credentials of the new ambassadors of the European Union, Switzerland, Rwanda, and Italy upon the assumption of their ambassadorial duties to Israel. The incoming ambassadors were welcomed by the Police Band playing their respective national anthems and an IDF honor guard, after which they presented their letters of credence to the President in the Great Hall of the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The ambassadors signed the guest book and held a working meeting with the President. At the end of each credentials ceremony, the Israeli national anthem was played.



The first ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Mr. Urs Bucher. President Herzog and the Swiss Ambassador discussed ways to promote Israeli-Swiss collaboration in the fields of science and innovation. President Herzog said: “The relationship with Switzerland is on a very positive path.” The President praised Switzerland's global role as a mediator and requested its support in bringing Israeli MIAs and civilian hostages back from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip.


The second ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Mr. Dimiter Tzantchev, a former deputy foreign minister of Bulgaria, who is returning for his third diplomatic posting in Israel. The President and Ambassador Tzantchev spoke of the importance of advancing Israel-EU cooperation. The President added: “I am a true believer in the partnership with the European Union; I think it’s the natural partnership for Israel.” The President also stressed the importance of convening the EU-Israel Association Council in order to realize the full potential of Israeli-European ties. Ambassador Tzantchev underlined the European Union’s support for normalization agreements between Israel and Arab neighbors, and the President stressed the importance of a tough EU line in negotiations with Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons.



The third ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Mr. James Gatera. The President thanked the Ambassador for Rwanda’s support for Israel’s accession to the African Union as an observer state. Ambassador Gatera invited Israeli investment in Rwanda, stressing that with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Israeli companies trading from Rwanda will be able to enjoy tariff-free access across the continent.



The fourth ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Italian Republic, H.E. Mr. Sergio Barbanti. The President and Ambassador Barbanti praised the strength of relations between Italy and Israel and discussed ways to promote matters of importance to both nations. The President also addressed regional affairs and urged Italy to discover economic opportunities in the momentum toward normalization between Israel and its Arab neighbors.


Photos: Kobi Gideon/GPO. 

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On the 60th anniversary of the Independence Day of Tanzania, the Ambassador of Tanzania to Israel, Job Daudi Masima, his spouse, Mrs. Yohana Joan Masima, and the members of the Embassy of Tanzania organized Yesterday a reception event at Amphorae Winery in Kerem Maharal.

Prior to the reception, the embassy organized a Golf tournament at Caesarea Golf Club.

 Among the guests of honor in the event were the Minister of Regional Cooperation, Issawi Frej, the Ambassadors of Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and more foreign diplomats ; Ambassador, Michael Lotem, Ambassador elect of the state of Israel to Tanzania;  Ambassador Gil Haskel, head of protocol and former director of Mashav, representatives of international organizations, the Honorary Consul of the United Republic of Tanzania in Israel, Kasbian Nuriel Chirich; Simon Fisher Advocate Director of " Save a Child 's Heart"  Organization,diplomates, tour operators and representatives of the media.

Ambassador Masima, who will soon end his tenure in Israel after 5 productive and successful years, said: "One of the greatest turning points in my career was leaving for Israel as the first Ambassador of Tanzania to Israel. 

The most important achievement was becoming the first resident ambassador to Israel". 

The Minister of Regional cooperation, Issawi Frej, spoke about the special ties between the countries and the importance of continuing to strengthen them. 

He expressed hope that tourism would return as soon as possible and promised during his tenure to further establish ties and bring students from Tanzania to Israel. 

The Minister thanked Ambassador Masima for his many activities to cultivate ties between Tanzania and Israel.

The guests then enjoyed the tasty Tanzanian food and the moving music of Greg Rivkin ( Trumpet) and Michael Edelshtein (Guitar)


Located in East Africa, Tanzania boasts 24 National Parks, 28 Game Reserves, 2 Marine Parks, 44 Game Controlled Areas, 4 Ramsar Sites, 33 Wildlife Management Areas. 

The country features a breathtaking array of landscapes, including volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, lakes, savannahs, marshlands, rain forests, and more. 

Some of the world’s largest lakes, including Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Nyasa, are located within Tanzania’s 945,087 square kilometers.


Photos credit Silvia G. Golan 

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President Isaac Herzog receives the credentials of the Ambassador of the United States of America, Thomas R. Nides

 Today, President Isaac Herzog received the credentials of the new Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Mr. Thomas R. Nides, at an official ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. President Herzog and Ambassador Nides delivered statements to the press and then held a working meeting. The President surprised Ambassador Nides by inviting to the ceremony the principal from his old Hebrew school in Duluth, Minnesota, Elizabeth Aloni.  

President Isaac Herzog’s full remarks:

It is a true privilege and honor for me, as President of the State of Israel, to open my home to you, the newly appointed Ambassador of the United States of America, Ambassador Tom Nides.

The People of Israel welcome you with open arms and an open heart. For us, this is a celebration of a shared vision and common values: liberty and equality, freedom, human rights and friendship with our closest ally.

Personally, my family has been engaged and involved with over fourteen successive American presidents. Growing up in the United States, I was strongly influenced by the spirit of the Constitution, by its social diversity and by the great tradition of your democracy.

This is why it is a special pleasure for me to host you, Mr. Ambassador, here in the President’s Residence, to receive your credentials and light the eighth and final Chanukah candle with you.

I have a small surprise for you: in your youth you attended Hebrew and Sunday School in the small Jewish community of Duluth, Minnesota. I have invited the principal of the school, my good friend Elizabeth Elie Aloni, who is sitting right here, to join us today and she remembers you as a young adolescent. You might not remember her, but she remembers you. Tom—this must be where your great Hebrew comes from!

Mr. Ambassador, I must add how touched we were by President Biden’s warm remarks at the Chanukah candle lighting ceremony on Thursday at the White House, as he graciously welcomed Israel’s new Ambassador to the United States, my dear brother, Mike Herzog.

Far beyond the personal connection, this is heartwarming because it is a consistent display of President Biden’s longstanding, genuine friendship with Israel. I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to President Biden, for his tireless support and his uncompromising commitment to the ironclad relations between Israel and the United States.

An alliance which should always be above partisan politics, enjoying the support of all administrations.

You should know, Mr. Ambassador, that for the people of Israel, this is meaningful beyond measure. I know how deeply you, Ambassador Nides, care about the US-Israel connection and intend to develop and deepen it throughout your term.

Israel very much looks forward to working together in harmony and in full partnership. You are coming to a more hopeful region. The Abraham Accords are a real strategic and regional gamechanger. It is essential that we realize the potential of these historic accords alongside the United States of America.

I was pleased to discuss this with the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, in our warm and friendly phone conversation over the weekend.

Mr. Ambassador, without a doubt the greatest challenge Israel and the Unites States face is the common threat posed by Iran.



We are closely following the international community’s recent negotiations with Iran. Israel will welcome a comprehensive,

diplomatic solution which permanently solves the Iranian nuclear threat.

In the case of a failure to achieve such solution, Israel is keeping all options on the table and it must be said that if the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue—Israel will do so. Israel will protect itself.



Ambassador Nides, I thank you so much for joining us today with your son, Max, and I wish you a satisfying, enjoyable and successful stay in Israel together with your excellent team.

I look forward to visiting the United States in the near future and meeting with my good friends President Biden, Vice President Harris and the entire administration, in order to further our common goals and strengthen the historic links between our two great democracies and peoples.

Thank you, good luck, and chag sameach!


Photos Silvia Graciela Golan

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