President Isaac Herzog today received the credentials of the new ambassadors of Tanzania, Armenia, Austria, Singapore, and Kyrgyzstan upon the assumption of their diplomatic duties in Israel. The incoming ambassadors were welcomed by the IDF Band playing their respective national anthems and they 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 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 his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Alex Gabriel Kallua. The Tanzanian Ambassador extended President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s personal regards to President Herzog and her wishes for enduring cooperation between Israel and Tanzania. President Herzog emphasized his desire to strengthen Israel’s relationship with Tanzania in a range of fields, including tourism.
The second ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Arman Akopian, who begins his posting in Israel after serving as Armenia’s ambassador to Brazil. The Ambassador presented his credentials in fluent Hebrew and signed the guest book in Hebrew. President Herzog and Ambassador Akopian discussed the 1,700-year-old history of the Armenian community in the Holy Land and affinities between Jews and Armenians as peoples with independent states and worldwide diasporas.
President Herzog noted that his father, the late Sixth President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, received the credentials of the first Armenian Ambassador to Israel after the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Ambassador extended President Vahagn Khachaturyan’s personal greetings to the President and the people of Israel.
At the end of the ceremony President Herzog invited the Armenian Ambassador to walk down to the reflecting pool with him, to show him the works of ceramic art by Armenian-Jerusalemite artist Marie Balian introduced to the President’s Residence by the President’s late mother, former First Lady Aura Herzog.
The third ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, H.E. Nikolaus Lutterotti. President Herzog welcomed the Ambassador and thanked him for Austria’s friendship with Israel, saying: “We have a very unique, important and strong relationship between our nations.” President Herzog added that he looks forward to meeting Austria’s leadership, and Ambassador Lutterotti conveyed Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen’s personal regards. The Ambassador noted that the Austrian Government has tripled its spending to protect and promote Jewish life in Austria “to make it the vibrant part of our society that it used to be.”
The fourth ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Non-Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore, H.E. Chuan Poh Lim, who has previously served as the head of the Singapore Armed Forces. Ambassador Lim updated President Herzog on the progress toward the establishment of a permanent Singaporean embassy in Israel soon, further to the Singaporean Government’s decision last month. President Herzog and Ambassador Lim discussed Israel and Singapore’s shared challenges, including urban density and water security, and noted that both nations have learned much from each other.
The last ambassador to present his letter of credence was the Non-Resident Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Kubanychbek Omuraliev, who also serves as Kyrgyzstan’s ambassador to the Republic of Turkey. Ambassador Omuraliev arrives as Kyrgyzstan’s first ambassador to the State of Israel in twenty years. President Herzog began by wishing Ambassador Omuraliev a Ramadan Kareem and handed him a personal letter to President Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan on the occasion of thirty years of diplomatic relations. President Herzog and Ambassador Omuraliev discussed opportunities to expand trade, academic and cultural cooperation, and reciprocal tourism between Israel and Kyrgyzstan.
Photos credit: Haim Zach/GPO.