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The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan marked the 1150th anniversary of the birth of legendary Islamic philosopher Al-Farabi with the commemoration of a memorial plaque in the coastal city of Haifa on Tuesday morning. A renowned scholar who lived during a period of intellectual flourishing when the Islamic world led the world in scientific and scholastic activity, Abu Nasr Al-Farabi became one of the most influential philosophers. A prolific thinker and writer who covered philosophy, metaphysics, cosmology, logic, music and other topics, Al-Farabi played a key role in translating and transmitting Aristotelianism and neo-Platonism to subsequent generations of teachers and students. Al-Farabi’s influence extended to thinkers of all religious persuasions, including the Muslim scholar Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and the Jewish medieval sage Maimonides, both whom drew heavily upon Al-Farabi’s ideas in their own philosophical works.



H.E. Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Israel, opened his remarks by thanking the municipality of Haifa, as well as Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan in Israel, Mr. David Luxembourg, for their cooperation in honoring Al-Farabi. The ambassador also thanked the Rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Galimkair Mutanov and President of the Turkic Academy Darkhan Kydyrali. Ambassador Burshakov mentioned that the commemoration of Al-Farabi was an international occasion under the auspices of UNESCO, in light of Al-Farabi’s great influence on humanity.  

The ambassador highlighted some of Al-Farabi’s prescient ideas, such as an early version of disaster risk reduction and the potential in nations helping one another. In light of that, the ambassador praised the cooperation between Israel and Kazakhstan, and in particular the medical cooperation during the Covid 19 period. 

The memorial plaque to Al-Farabi was dedicated on a Haifa street that had already been named for Al-Farabi previously, and Ambassador Burshakov noted that this showed the great esteem in which the scholar was held by so many cultures.

President of the Turkic Academy Mr. Darkhan Kydyrali had prepared remarks to be shown at the ceremony. Mr. Kydyrali explained that Al-Farabi was known as the “Second Teacher”, after Aristotle, the “First Teacher,” a great sign of respect. He noted that Al-Farabi’s work ranged widely from theological issues to social philosophy, with his influence extending far beyond his own time and locale, to the eventual intellectual development of the European scholastic community as well. Mr. Kydyrali finished by thanking the mayor and municipality of Haifa, as well as Ambassador Burshakov and Honorary Consul Mr. Luxembourg for arranging this important event. Following the speeches, Ambassador Burshakov unveiled the plaque, which will now serve as a memorial and to educate all the passersby who walk down Al-Farabi street in Haifa.

 Among the guests were also Lazar Kaplun - Deputy Mayor of Haifa City, Gary Koren member of the Haifa City Council - Chairman of the Immigration and Absorpcion Committee , Mrs. Nataya Divinsky President of the International Organization of Jews from Kazakhstan & Central Asia and Mrs Tjireya Tjitendero from the Bahá'í World Center .

Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Haifa Municipality and the Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan in Israel on this important initiative to promote cultural and intellectual historical awareness.

Photos Silvia Golan



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.”







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





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)