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The Serbian government has decided to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. Following the government of Israel’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo, the government of Kosovo has announced it will open its embassy in Jerusalem



Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi: “I welcome the decision of the Serbian government to move its embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. This is an important and courageous step that testifies to the depth of relations between Israel and Serbia and will lead to the strengthening of the friendship between the two nations.”

Following the government of Israel’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo and Kosovo's announcement of the opening of an embassy in Jerusalem, FM Ashkenazi said:

“We view the decision of Serbia and Kosovo to establish embassies in Jerusalem as a symbolic step towards promoting peace between these countries. The city of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel, will constitute a bridge of peace to the entire world. I call on other countries to follow in their footsteps and move their embassies to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

FM Ashkenazi thanked US President Trump and the US administration for leading the move and for its regional and international leadership:

“The US administration continues to lead to significant diplomatic breakthroughs, both in our relations with Serbia and Kosovo, as in the promotion of normalization and the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israel has no better ally than the United States.”







The office in Honduras was opened today after Honduras recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and opened a trade office in Jerusalem about a year ago. 


 In a virtual meeting held today (Thursday August 20, 2020), with his Honduran counterpart, Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales Banegas, and in the presence of the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi inaugurated the official representative office of the State of Israel in Honduras. The Israeli office in Honduras will focus on promoting joint projects in the fields of economics and development.

FM Ashkenazi thanked the Honduran president and foreign minister for their support of Israel in the international arena and promised to strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation in various fields.

The office in Honduras was opened today after Honduras recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and opened a trade office in Jerusalem about a year ago.

The opening of the offices in the two capitals is an additional step towards the opening of the Honduran embassy in Jerusalem and the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Tegucigalpa, he Honduran capital.

FM Ashkenazi: The Israeli flag was officially hoisted today for the first time in 26 years. This is an important step in the development of the bilateral relationship between and the strengthening the bonds of friendship between the peoples. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work to strengthen Israel's international standing, and to develop and expand our relations with the countries of the world.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi at the  inauguration . Photo: MFA.




Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Colombian President Ivan Duque, today (Monday, 10 August 2020), in a joint videoconference, launched the free trade agreement between Israel and Colombia. Prime Minister Netanyahu also commended Colombian President Duque for opening an innovation office in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"This is a historic moment in the relationship between the State of Israel and the Republic of Colombia because we celebrate two important events today. The first is the final ratification of the agreement on a free trade zone between, a free trade agreement between our two countries, and in addition, the Colombian announcement that you've just made, to open an innovation representative office in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

These decisions create a platform of cooperation between us that will bring our partnership, our friendship, our brotherhood—as you said—to new political and economic levels.

Israel is a hub of global innovation. Colombia is one of the strongest economies in Latin America. It has a strong academic base, a strong scientific base, and I think that cooperating, the cooperation between us will make both of us stronger. We also have a strong partnership on security as well. Ivan, your leadership in the fight against terrorism sets an example for the rest of Latin America."

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Colombian President Duque declared the end of the ratification process for the free trade agreement between Israel and Colombia. This is a pioneering agreement with the third largest economy in Latin America. Signing the agreement will create opportunities for the Israeli economy in various fields including agriculture, technology and medicine.

Colombian President Duque emphasized that he would open an innovation office in Jerusalem, close to the Israel Innovation Authority, and stressed that Colombia aspires to develop innovation at home inspired by the Israeli experience.

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the ratification of the free trade agreement and the fact that Colombia was joining a series of nations that – since the US decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem – have decided to open official offices in the capital.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to work toward the goal of encouraging additional countries to open representations in Jerusalem.

Photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)




About twenty ambassadors and diplomats from foreign countries enjoyed a joint tour in the Tzippori National Park and the region earlier this week. This, as part of a special initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), designed to allow them to experience, close up, Israel’s unique beauty and heritage.

Among the ambassadors who took part in the tour of Tzippori National Park were the ambassadors of the countries: Sri Lanka, Colombia, Thailand, Nepal and Vietnam, as well as senior diplomats from El Salvador, Austria, Uruguay and Ukraine.


The tour was initiated by the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Amir Halevi, and guided by Tzipori-born Etti Koriat Aharon, a longtime INPA employee in charge of information and community in the northern district and an expert in Tzipori's archeology. The group visited, among others, the Nile Festival House, the Roman villa with the beautiful mosaic floor of the Galilee, the Crusader castle and the remains of a synagogue from the Byzantine period. The diplomats ended the day with wine-tasting and lunch at the Kitron winery.


This tour was the first in a series of special tours organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for ambassadors. Subsequent tours are expected to take place in Caesarea National Park, the INPA Sea Turtle Rescue Center and the Apollonia National Park, with the participation, among others, of the ambassadors of Panama and Ireland and senior diplomats from Russia, Britain, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands and Canada.


According to Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi: “Having run a successful cycling project in which dozens of ambassadors from foreign countries enjoyed breath-taking routes around Israel, we decided to offer ambassadors to take advantage of this corona period and visit the national parks, in joint cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. To our delight, registration immediately filled up and the ambassadors were enthusiastic about discovering another piece of archaeology and history in the Galilee. Given the absence of advertising and marketing campaigns overseas featuring Israel’s unique sites as a result of the corona crisis, these ambassador tours provide another type of exposure to Israel among the diplomatic corps living in Israel."


According to Raya Shuraki, Director, INPA Public and Community Division: “The corona crisis is still ongoing and the tourism industry is currently based solely on domestic tourism. At the same time, it is important to look ahead and establish and cultivate contacts with key figures in other countries, such as ambassadors, with a view to leveraging incoming tourism when it will become possible. These tours are part of a welcome initiative designed to establish a fruitful relationship with the representatives of the various countries. They also serve to expose them to both the beauty and uniqueness of our nature and heritage sites as well as the tourist and recreation sites located near Israel Nature and Parks Authority sites.”


Photo  Ministry of Tourism





For the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Colombia, Greece, Denmark, Romania and Argentina to the State of Israel

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Wednesday 8 July / 16 Tammuz, received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Colombia, Greece, Denmark, Romania and Argentina to the State of Israel. The official ceremony was held, for the first time, entirely in the hall of Beit HaNasi in line with the restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus. As each ambassador arrived, the national anthem of their country was played by the Israel Police Band and they reviewed an IDF honor guard reduced in size because of the restrictions. After presenting their letters of credence to the president, each one signed the Beit HaNasi visitors’ book and Hatikva was played at the end of the ceremony.

First to present her credentials to the president was the Ambassador of Colombia, Margarita Eliana Manjarrez Herrera, accompanied by her two daughters. The president welcomed her to Israel and said he appreciated the important relations between the two countries in the field of counter-terrorism.  The president invited the Colombian president, a friend of Israel, to Jerusalem, and the ambassador replied that the President of Colombia would be delighted to accept the invitation.

“We have 63 years of strong diplomatic relations. My job is to strengthen the unique friendship between our countries,” said the ambassador.




The Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Panayotis N. Sarris, then presented his credentials. “Last month, we hosted the Greek prime minister and we hope to welcome your president to Jerusalem soon,” said the president. “Our friendship is based on our ancient cultures and our extensive cooperation, particularly in the field of energy – on which regional security and stability in the Mediterranean is based.”

The president remembered fondly his state visit to Greece, saying “It was one of the last visits with Nechama, my late wife, and she very much enjoyed the art and archeology. It helped us understand better the region we live in.” The president also noted Israel’s deep appreciation for Greece’s commitment to fighting antisemitism, and its support for Israel in the European Union and NATO.

The ambassador thanked the president, saying “Israel is very precious to us and we try as far as possible to be on your side. Since I arrived here as an experienced diplomat who has served in different countries, I have never felt as much at home as I do here in Israel. The cooperation between us is amazing.” The ambassador added that Greece is missing Israeli tourists and added his country’s appreciation for the dedication of many Israeli scientists to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.




The president then received credentials from the Danish ambassador, Anne Dorte Riggelsen, accompanied by her daughter. The president conveyed his best wishes to HM Queen Margarethe II who celebrated her 80th birthday recently.

“We will remember forever the heroic rescue of the Jews of Denmark during the Holocaust,” said the president. He also spoke warmly of the Danish Innovation Center in Tel Aviv which does so much for cooperation between the two countries.

Ambassador Riggelsen thanked the president, saying “I see great similarities between our two small countries that believe that they are not so small. Denmark aspires to a society that works in times of difficulty. To build a society that works for everyone. If I can be of help in the conversation between our two peoples - not just our two governments - I will leave here with a full heart.”




Next to present his credentials was the new ambassador of Romania to Israel, Radu Ioanid, who takes up his post after decades of service to the fight against antisemitism and for Holocaust memory. The president noted the leading role the ambassador played in the establishment of the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. He also noted Romania’s leading role in the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. “We appreciate it very much, as we do Romania’s support for Israel in international fora.”

After thanking the president, the ambassador said that Romania is proud to be at the forefront of the fight against antisemitism, and that he is sure that by working together, the two countries can contribute much to the world. The ambassador spoke of the intention to establish a museum dedicated to the history of the Jews of Romania, including the Holocaust.



Finally. Ambassador Sergio Daniel Urribarri of Argentina presented his credentials. The president congratulated the country on celebrating 204 years of independence. The president noted the important role Argentina plays in the international arena and the great potential for cooperation between the two countries.

Ambassador Urribarri thanked the president, saying “I will work to strengthen relations between our countries even more than before,” said the ambassador and conveyed to the president the personal best wishes of Pope Francis I whom he met recently, and of the President of Argentina.

Photo credits: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)