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The crème of Jerusalem diplomatic elite gathered last week at the Inbal Hotel, in response to the invitation of Guatemala’s Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Mario Búcaro, to honor Werner Loval  Guatemalan Consul in Jerusalem.

In his address to the gathering, the ambassador said: “We are here to honor a true friend of Guatemala, whose legacy goes way beyond just recognition. He was Israel’s first ambassador to our country 60 years ago when Israel opened its first embassy in Central America, and we all remember his grace and dignity, and his willingness to serve both Israel and Guatemala. Today, thousands benefit from this alliance and friendship. His legacy prevails.” He added many warm and endearing remarks about the new Consul.

Ambassador Búcaro then presented Mr. Loval with a beautiful commemorative plaque and at the same time, in a heartfelt gesture, a beautiful bouquet to Mr. Pamela Loval.

In response, Mr. and Mrs. Loval’s son read out their acceptance speech. Speaking on behalf of his father, he noted Guatemala’s strategic support for Israel way back in 1947 when the UN voted to partition British-Mandate Palestine into Arab and Jewish states; then in 1949 when Guatemala headed a small group of countries to invite Israel to become a United Nations member – the 50th UN member! And again in 1955, when Guatemala opened its embassy in Jerusalem – the 1st country to do so.

He noted too that today, all Israelis appreciate that the Guatemalan embassy is now back in Jerusalem. “Mr. Ambassador – this happened on your watch, as did so many other achievements!” He ended his address with a heartwarming “Viva Guatemala, viva Israel”.

Before the generous buffet dinner that followed, the national anthems of both countries were sung. H. E. Amb. Búcaro sang the Guatemalan anthem, of course, and then to the surprise of many, Israeli anthem as well. What a gesture of empathy.

 

 

Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were Ambassador Meron Reuben, Chief of State Protocol in the Israeli Foreign Ministry; Ambassador Modi Eprahim, Deputy Director-General for Latin America and the Caribbean MFA and Ambassador  Oren Bar El, Director for  Central América and México in the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Mrs Fleur Hassan-Nahoum .

 

The director and staff of www.diplomacy.co.il join in wishing Consul Loval continued success.

Photos Courtesy of the Guatemalan Embassy in Israel