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  Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of Kazakhstan H.E. Mr. Satybaldy Burshakov 

 

President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Austria, Cambodia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Angola to the State of Israel as they take up their positions

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Wednesday 18 December / 20 Kislev, received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Austria, Cambodia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Angola to the State of Israel as they take up their positions, in an official ceremony at Beit HaNasi. As each ambassador arrived, their national anthem was played by the Israel Police Band and they reviewed an IDF honor guard. After presenting their letters of credence and an audience with the president, the ambassadors signed the Beit HaNasi guest book, and Hatikva was played at the end of the ceremony.

 

 

Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of Belarus H.E. Mr. Evgeny Semyonovich Vorobyev

 

The first to present his credentials to the president was the Ambassador of Belarus, Evgeny Semyonovich Vorobyev. The president welcomed him to Israel and mentioned the many Israeli public figures and artists who were born and grew up in Belarus, and who with more recent immigrants are a living bridge between the two countries today. “We appreciate Belarus’ efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and hope that Belarus will adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism,” said the president. Ambassador Vorobyev thanked the president and said that he hoped to extend the relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Next, Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov of Kazakhstan presented his credentials. “We will never forget the bravery of the Kazakh people, which gave shelter to thousands of Jews during the Holocaust,” said the president. “Both Israel and Kazakhstan place great value on religious tolerance. At a time when antisemitism is rising around the world, we appreciate all that Kazakhstan is doing to promote inter-religious dialogue,” he added.

 

 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of  Angola H.E. Mr. Osvaldo dos Santos Varela

The next to arrive at Beit HaNasi was the Ambassador of Angola, Osvaldo dos Santos Varela. The president noted the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, and expressed his hope that they would be reflected in Angola’s voting at the United Nations. The president added, “We are working to deepen our strategic partnership with Africa, including by resuming Israel’s status as an Observer State in the African Union. This a shared interest, which can bring great benefits to the State of Israel and to the nations of Africa,” he added.

 

 

Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of  Austria H.E. Dr. Hannah Liko  

 

Dr. Hannah Liko, the Austrian Ambassaador to Israel who was accompanied by her cousin, many members of whose family were victims of the Holocaust, then presented her credentials to the president. “I know you are committed to Israel’s security and to regional stability, including sending soldiers to UN peace keeping forces,” said the president. “We therefore, ask you to take steps in the EU and UN against Iranian and Hezbollah terror in the region.”

Referring to the rise of anti-Semtism in Europe, the president said, “We are concerned by the rise of anti-Semitism in the corridors of power throughout Europe, including Austria. I look forward to seeing your president next month at the ceremony at Yad Vashem, where we will call to fight antisemitism wherever it appears.”

The ambassador thanked the president, saying “Our responsibility for Nazi crimes will always be a significant part of our relations. We honor the victims and fight anti-Semitism in all its forms.” She also added that she was glad the relations between the two countries are strong and developing further. “Over 200,000 Israelis visited Austria this year,” she said, adding with a smile, “and of course we are proud that an Austrian is the coach of your national soccer team and that we have two Israeli soccer players in our premier league.”

 

 

  Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of  Cambodia H.E. Mr. Khoun Phon Rattanak 

 

Ambassador Khoun Phon Rattanak of Cambodia was the last to present his credentials. “Israel and Cambodia enjoy good relations,” said the president at the beginning of his remarks. “Many Cambodian students and farmers come to Israel to participate in agricultural training, and we are very interested in increasing Israel’s partnership with all of the ACMECS countries in fields such as agriculture, health, cyber and innovation,” he said.

The Cambodian ambassador thanked the president for his words, saying, “I bring best regards from the King and Prime Minister. It is a true honor to be ambassador here, a land rich in culture and history. On behalf of the Cambodian people, we express our appreciation for your kind support for our agricultural sector which is leading us to impressive achievements. We look forward to working together on health to help our rural communities.”

Photo credits: Mark Neiman (GPO)