Photo : President Rivlin welcoming H.E Ms. Maria Gabriels Troya Rodriguez , Ambassador of Ecuador to Israel.
President Reuven Rivlin, this morning (Monday) at his residence, received the diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors to Israel from Ecuador, Ethiopia, Togo, Fiji, and Turkmenistan. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, included an honor guard, and - after the presentation of the credentials - the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva'.
President Rivlin first welcomed Ambassador of Ecuador, H.E. Ms. Maria Gabriels Troya Rodriguez and said, “It is a real pleasure to welcome you here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, with the history between our two peoples. Both the long and the short history. I know the people of Ecuador admire the Bible and the language of the Bible. In recent times, we have been proud to welcome around 2,500 students from Ecuador to study here with Mashav, and we are proud of the cooperation between us in agriculture. We are proud to have worked to help your people following the earthquake that struck you country last year, and we are doing all we can to extend our relationship. I know that from time to time we may have differences of opinion as there are between friends. I know that your President is an admirer of Israel. We are of course prepared to hear criticism sometimes, as long as there is an understanding of the need of our people to protect ourselves and carry the burden of security.”
Ambassador Troya thanked the President and said, “I am greatly honored. This is my first appointment as an ambassador and I am looking forward to do my best. President Correa is an admirer of Israel, something he has mentioned two weeks ago on a radio broadcast. He said specifically Israel is a country we admire and we should cooperate closely, in agriculture, in science and technology and also in trade - I would like to see more Ecuadorian products available here.”
She added, “We do have differences of opinion but that does not mean we don’t talk and share the things that bring us closer. That is what I am here to do.”
Photo : President Rivlin welcoming H.E Mr. Tsegay Berha Hadera , Ambassador of Ethiopia to Israel
Ambassador of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Tsegay Berha Hadera then presented the President with his credentials. President Rivlin welcomed him and said, “When I meet with ambassadors of other countries, we can talk about diplomatic relations that are maybe 20, 30, even 50 years old. But our peoples have shared history of thousands of years. We can talk about the visit of the Queen of Sheba to the wise King Solomon.” He added, “In Israel today, we are so proud of our Ethiopian Jewish community. They are proud to be Jews, they are proud to be Israeli, and they are proud to be Ethiopian.”
The President went on to say, “I want to congratulate you on Ethiopia’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. I hope that Ethiopia will be able to help Israel too.”
Ambassador Hadera thanked the President and said, “Thank you for the warm welcome. I am very proud to be the Ambassador of Ethiopia in Israel. I have visited many times.” He spoke of the great respect for Israel as the Holy Land, and the city of Jerusalem, and said, “We are natural brothers and we stand for the right of the people.”
He spoke of the importance of the cooperation and support Israel offered Ethiopia in the field of innovation and added, “Please accept the warmest wishes of my President, and I am pleased to convey to you an invitation to visit our country.”
Photo : President Rivlin welcoming H.E Mr. Calixte Batossie Madjoulba , Ambassador of Togo to Israel
Ambassador of Togo, H.E. Mr. Calixte Batossie Madjoulba was next to present his credentials. President Rivlin welcomed him to Jerusalem and noted the important 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He said, “We enjoy warm relations. Israel sees Africa the future, and the importance of our ties there are clear to all, and no less important is the fact that your country initiated together with Israel the upcoming Africa Summit.” The President thanked the Ambassador for the participation of the President of Togo in the funeral of the late Shimon Peres. He added, “We are aware that you understand the challenge of dealing with the threat of terror, and that you yourselves are dealing with this challenge, something which is forced upon us. Also in this area, we are cooperating and I would see this expanded.”
The President concluded, “We are looking forward to October to the planned African Israeli summit, which Togo initiated. And we are pleased to receive you here as representative of your country, in order to strengthen our cooperation even further.”
Ambassador Madjoulba thanked the President for the warm welcome, said that he was moved to be appointed ambassador to Israel, and conveyed the warm wishes of the President of Togo. He said, “My country is very pleased with the welcome initiative, the summit between Israel and Togo in Africa. Terror, as you mentioned, is truly the greatest challenge for the whole world, and of course Africa. I want to thank you again for the security cooperation, and your assistance in learning how Togo can face the threat of terror. The planned summit, during which you will share with us your knowledge on issues relating to preserving security, will help Africa to become safer, and allow our peoples to develop the continent, and to bring prosperity for the benefit of the peoples of Africa. For this I thank you.”
Photo : President Rivlin welcoming H.E Mr. Mosese Tikoitoga , Ambassador of Fiji to Israel
Ambassador of Fiji, H.E. Mr. Mosese Tikoitoga then presented the President with his credentials. President Rivlin welcomed him and said, “Many talk about battling for peace, but you are one of the true fighters for peace, and fought not just in our region but all over the world with the United Nations, to keep peace. We know the meaning of fighting for peace.”
He added, “I was sad to be unable to meet with your President after his trip was hampered by bad weather, but we spoke on the phone, and discussed the important ties between our peoples. Please send him my best regards, l am looking forward to meeting him. We know the connection between Israel and Fiji, especially in the area of water and agriculture.”
The Ambassador thanked the President and said, “We thank you very much, and we appreciate your help over the years.” He added, “Many Fijians want to come and visit Israel, our Christian beliefs tell us we must come and visit the Holy Land.” He told the President that “I served in UNIFIL on four different occasions, so this is almost like coming back home, just in a different capacity.”
Photo : President Rivlin welcoming H.E Mr. Berdymurat Redjepov , Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Israel
Ambassador of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Berdymurat Redjepov then presented his credentials to the President, who said to him “We appreciate greatly the good relations between our countries, and see your arrival as an opportunity to develop these even further.” He added, “It is a pleasure to welcome you here, and express my appreciation for the position of your country in declaring and maintaining neutrality.”
The President added that Israel had much respect for Turkmenistan, and extended an invitation for the President of Turkmenistan to visit Israel.
Ambassador Redjepov thanked the President for the warm welcome and said, “I have been tasked with the important mission to deepen the relations between us, and the cooperation between our countries. My family and I have dreamed of coming to Israel, and yesterday we visited the historic sites, holy to the three religions.”
Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)