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Jamhuri Day came to Israel with the annual celebration hosted by the Embassy of Kenya at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Diplomats, business and civil society leaders, Kenyans, and friends of the embassy joined the celebration to mark 56 years of the Republic of Kenya.

Jamhuri Day came to Israel with the annual celebration hosted by the Embassy of Kenya at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Diplomats, business and civil society leaders, Kenyans, and friends of the embassy joined the celebration to mark 56 years of the Republic of Kenya.

The green, red and black of the Kenyan flag adorned the stairs and tables, while large screens showed bright images and videos showcasing Kenya and the Kenya-Israel connection. A large banner highlighted Kenya’s suitability for the 2021-2022 UN Security Council seat.

After hearing the anthems of both countries, H.E. Mr. Samuel Thuita, the ambassador of Kenya to Israel, welcomed the guests and presented his remarks. Ambassador Thuita, in his first Jamhuri Day celebration since arriving in Israel, praised the strong ties between Israel and Kenya. The ambassador noted the historical connection of the two countries, including then Foreign Minister Gold Meir’s visit to Nairobi to establish the first Israeli Embassy in Kenya. Ambassador Thuita also emphasized the Mashav program, through many Kenyans have studied advanced agricultural techniques, health, medicine, and food security in Israel.




Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Ofir Akunis, spoke next on behalf of the state of Israel. Minister Akunis noted the rich cooperation between Israel and Kenya in a range of fields such as agriculture, security, trade, health, education, and innovation. The minister quoted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement “Israel is back in Africa, and Africa is back in Israel” as an indication of Israel’s priorities in bolstering ties with African nations. Kenya’s prominence among them is highlighted by Nentanyahu’s two visits to Kenya in recent years. 

Minister Akunis also mentioned the growing commercial relationships, and the role of the private sectors of the two nations. Last year Israel opened a Trade Office at the Israeli Embassy in Kenya to continue facilitating this growth, and Mr. Akunis expressed his hope that there would soon be direct Nairobi-Tel Aviv flights to bring the Israelis and Kenyans closer together.

Minister Akunis concluded his remarks by reiterating congratulations to the people of Kenya, and then Ambassador Thuita and the minister offered a toast to the best wishes of both nations. Following the toast, a lively dance circle began, and the guests were invited to join a lavish dinner.


Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were Ambassador Meron Reuben, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom; Former Minister of Communications of Israel, Mr. Ayoob Kara; Ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Oded Yosef, Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club; David Freeman, representative of the Bahá’í International Community; Mr. Ephraim Fortis, Founder, President, and CEO of Open Sky ( Kenya Airlines ); Zvi Herman former director of the Center for International Agriculture & Development Corporation; Carina Baum, CEO and founder of Building Bridges; Alain Mendoza, regional manager at the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, Orly Spagnul, IMTM business development manager, and an Israeli boy named Kenya.

Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Embassy of Kenya in Israel and offers best wishes for the people of Kenya

Steven Aiello
Photos by Silvia Golan



The  Republic of Kazakhstan is celebrating its independence day this week.  His Excellency Satybaldy Burshakov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the State of Israel and his wife Mrs. Maira Karakeshova held a lavish gala evening in honor of this special day at Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv.
 The evening opened with the sound of the national anthems of the two countries filled the air and the crowd stood in silence, respectful of both nations, Kazakhstan and Israel.
Ambassador Burshakov greeted and welcomed his guests to the celebratory evening. In his address to his guests, the Ambassador recounted how Kazakhstan and Israel enjoy excellent bilateral relations, further strengthened following the fruitful official visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Kazakhstan in 2016 and meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Commission in Jerusalem in 2017 led by Minister Elkin. H.E. Ambassador Burshakov made a commitment as new Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Israel, to do his utmost to promote a successful agenda. The Ambassador noted that Israel is the tenth largest trading partner of Kazakhstan among Asian partners. 
Ambassador Burshakov remarked: "We invite our Israeli partners to intensify cooperation with Kazakhstan in innovation development, new technologies, medical exchanges, to invest in the agricultural sector, water supplying infrastructure and many other areas.
Today the Israeli citizens enjoy the visa-free regime to travel to Kazakhstan, introduced since 2017 by unilaterally by the Kazakh Government. Our experts now working on a draft agreement which might also allow in the future for Kazakh citizens to visit Israel without visas. To open direct flights between the two countries another important task of our agenda. Thus we have a lot to offer both to tourists and business. 
Next year Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan will host 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation and will celebrate, also with the participation of Kazakh Embassies, 175 Anniversary of the great poet and thinker Abai Kunanbayev, as well as 1150 Anniversary of world-known philosopher Al-Farabi. Our Israelian partners are invited to join us in these milestone events; Other important aspect of our ties include Olim – Jewish community originated from Kazakhstan, who remain our compatriots by their spirit and strong bridge to the bilateral cooperation"... In conclusion the Ambassador added " We are ready for more close coordination with Israeli partners for improving the legal framework of economic cooperation, promoting economic diplomacy, attracting foreign investment, supporting mutual trade, interacting with international institutions of economics and finance, increasing tourist attractiveness, etc.
Toda Raba."
Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin responded in a congenial manner which reflected the good relationship between Israel and Kazakhstan. He reflected that Israel can never forget the people of Kazakhstan for having provided shelter and salvation to Jews fleeing the horrors of World War II. His remarks spoke to the present-day reputation that Kazakhstan has as a nation of particular religious tolerance. He emphasized that both countries have developed friendly relations with each other and cooperation over many areas 
The assembled guests were a cross-section of the diplomatic, political and business communities within Israel. There was a large delegation of ambassadors from many countries from around the world. Israeli Minister Yoav Galant, and Member of Knesset Konstantin (Yoel) Razvozov were distinguished guests. Their Excellencies Ran Ichay,  Israel Mey-Ami, Eliyahu Tasman and Mikhail Brodsky who in different years held the office of the Ambassador of Israel to Kazakhstan, honored the occasion with their presence. Dan Catarivas Director-General of foreign trade and international relations for the Manufacturers'  Association of Israel,  former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert, Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club; and Yair Stern Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra were also among the influential guests, as well as many diplomats, several military attaches and member of the clergy, most notable the Patriarch of Jerusalem
Food and beverages were plentiful with delicious schnitzels and beef served with traditional side dishes and salads. Sumptuous desserts were offered through the conclusion of the evening and were paired with an assortment of coffees and teas. The guests lingered and enjoyed the congenial conversation.

www.diplomacy.co.il  extends best wishes to the Embassy of Kazakhstan on the occasion of its National Day     

Photos by Silvia G. Golan


The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Israel celebrated its national day in Israel on November 26th, 2019. The joyous occasion was held and hosted in the building of the Korean embassy in Herzliya Pituach, in the Central District of Israel
This momentous event was held by H.E. Mr. Suh Dong Gu, the new Ambassador of Korea to Israel and his wife. Honorable guest was Mr. Rafi Peretz, Israeli Minister of Education.
Among the many distinguished guests or the evening were Mr. Tzachi Braverman, the secretary of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister; Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club; Ambassador Matan Vilnai, President Israel- Asia Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Adi Barough, Senior Advisor PMO; Amir Halevi, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Superintendent Mr. Moti Meiry, the representative of the Israeli Police; Mr. Ehud Rassabi Chairman of the Board of Ilan- Israel Foundation for Handicapped Children; Israeli Businessmen ,members of the Korean community in Israel, Korean journalists, and a range of military officials .
The event was accompanied by a talented group of classical musicians led by Shai Siman Tov who added rhythm and wonder to the festive atmosphere. 
H.E. Mr. Suh Dong Gu warmly welcomed the guests in the happy celebration of the National Day of Korea 2019 and stated that, “2019 is a landmark year in the bilateral relations between Israel and Korea”, highlighting the importance of a mutual trade between the two countries including the purchase of Korean products, the main focus being on technological items. 
He added: “We Koreans hold Israel with high esteem. Israel has great people and both nations celebrate the passion for promoting family values, education, and research.” The ambassador further addressed the future and cooperation between Israel and Korea, labeling Israel as the “powerhouse of innovation” and as “a nation that is leading the global market in the industrial technology.” He demonstrated the role of Korea as a nation that has a similarly powerful role in industrial technology, as well as in manufacturing power. 
The Korean ambassador continued to emphasize the significance of taking advantage of this well-timed opportunity for further cooperation, as he envisions a “technological alliance between Israel and Korea”. He also reported his enjoyment in the personal exchanges between the two countries in fields such as tourism. Korean tourists, as stated by the ambassador, are “steadily on the rise” and that another flight was added to the number of current flights between Israel and Korea, reaching four per week starting January 2019.
H.E. Suh Dong Gu expressed his wishes to have an educational exchange program in the very near future. Finally, he invited guests to have a taste of Korea and to sample some Korean cuisine such as kimchi, chogye muchim, and bokkeumbap, as well as Korean beverages like soju and makgeolli. 
Following the speech of the Korean Ambassador, Mr. Rafi Peretz, the Israeli Minister of Education, gave tribute to the “very long national histories, rich cultures, and shared values” that both countries cherish. Peretz also addressed the magnitude of advanced technology, and that both countries “are on the front-line of the development” in the world. The minister went on to praise the accuracy, high work ethics and integrity of Korea. Mr. Peretz addressed “the very successful visit of President Rivlin to Korea this last July, which is evidence of how our relationship continues to strengthen and deepen” and that “no fewer than 19 agreements were signed in the areas of economics, academic education, and energy”. Finally, Mr. Peretz conveyed to Korea, on behalf of the government, his “most sincere congratulations on the occasion of its National Day”. 
After this, the event continued with a wide range of Korean foods and drinks, paired with local music. The guests were delighted to have a taste of Korean cuisine and culture.
 The Staff of www.diplomacy.co.il  congratulates the government, people, and Embassy of Korea on the occasion of his National Day
Hassan Hassan is a member of Debate for Peace
 Photos by Silvia Golan



Romanian Extraordinary Gala Concert celebrating the National Day of Romania took place on December 1, at Henry Crown Symphony Hall - Jerusalem Theater. 
The concert was organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. 
On the occasion of the National Day of Romania, the Romanian Cultural Institute held a beautiful concert under the energetic baton of the Ionut Pascu, with a rare collection of famous works and the greatest hits from Romanian and Balkan Music performed by the exceptional Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and some of the greatest voices and instrumental virtuous from Romania
Yair Stern, Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra introduced Mr. Martin Salomon, Director, Romanian Cultural Institute, who opened the evening with a warm welcome to the guests, including a few words in Romanian and Hebrew. 
He continued in English: " ... this magnificent Gala Concert, celebrating the National Day of Romania ...is offered by the Romanian Cultural Institute, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra...I am also proud to announce that is only the beginning; this concert is the 1st of many cultural projects that they have for the next years".
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthems of Israel and Romania.   
Participating artist were Stefan Ignat,baritone; Mirela Gradinaru, soprano; Madeleine Pascu , soprano; Dalila Cernatescu, Romanian panpipes; Andrei Manea , tenor Alina Dragnea, mezzo-soprano;  Aida  Pascu , soprano and Bogdan Mihailescu, classical guitar.
The artist and the musicians received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience, all from different parts of Israel. 
The sponsors of the concert were Tarom Romanian Air Transport and Emir. - an organization of Romanian immigrants in Israel  א.מ.י.ר. – ארגון מאוחד של יוצאי רומניה בישראל
The stage was decorated with the flags of Romania and Israel, with the announcement flag of the Romanian Cultural Institute and with a huge bouquet of flowers in the colors of the Romanian flag.
The diplomatic portal in Israel, www.diplomacy.co.il,  congratulates Mr. Martin Salomon, Director, Romanian Cultural Institute ,  the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the artists for their excellent work.
Photos Silvia Golan.  ( more pics at Facebook Israel Diplo )


 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of Korea H.E. Mr. Suh Dong Gu


President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Korea, India, Slovakia, Costa Rica and Sri Lanka to Israel, as they begin their terms of office in Israel

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Thursday 21 November / 23 Cheshvan, received diplomatic credentials from the new Ambassadors of Korea, India, Slovakia, Costa Rica and Sri Lanka to Israel, as they begin their terms of office in Israel, in an official ceremony at Beit HaNasi. As they arrived, the national anthem of their country was played by the Israel Police Band and then they reviewed an IDF guard of honor. After presenting their letters of credence to the president and an audience in the Jerusalem Room, each ambassador signed the Beit HaNasi visitors’ book and ‘Hatikva’ was played before the end of each ceremony.



 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of Slovakia H.E. Mr. Igor Mauks


The first to present his credentials to the president was Ambassador Igor Mauks of Slovakia. The president welcomed the ambassador to Israel and expressed his appreciation for Slovakia’s friendship towards Israel and noted that he was delighted to welcome the former president of Slovakia in Israel two years ago. The president also sent his thanks to the president of Slovakia for confirming her attendance at the central event to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which will take place in Jerusalem in January 2020.

Ambassador Mauks thanked the president for his warm words and invited him to visit Slovakia. He also stressed his country’s fight against antisemitism, saying “Slovakia has zero-tolerance for antisemitism.”


 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of  Costa Rica H.E. Mr. Marco V. Vargas Pereira


Next to arrive was Ambassador of Costa Rica Marco Vinicio Vargas Pereira. In their conversation, the president noted the similarities between the two countries, saying, “Israel and Costa Rica gained independence in 1948 as the only democracies in their region. Today, too, we are small countries that invest in human capital, in our young people, and in education.” The president also spoke to the ambassador about his hopes that the Costa Rican embassy would return to Jerusalem. “I hope you are able to take meaningful steps to bring the embassy back home to Jerusalem.”

The ambassador thanked the president and said that this was his first time in Israel and that he was discovering the beauty of Israel’s varied landscape, and that he had seen a desert for the first time. “I am delighted to be representing Costa Rica here in your beautiful country and hope I am able to advance the good relations even further.”



 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of  Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Saddha Waruna Wilpatha


Ambassador Saddha Waruna Wilpatha of Sri Lanka then presented his credentials. The president conveyed his warmest wishes to the new president of Sri Lanka, wishing him much success. He also expressed his sorrow over the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka in April of this year. “Israel will continue to stand by Sri Lanka in the global struggle against terrorism, which threatens the security of the whole world.”

Ambassador Wilpatha thanked the president for his remarks and said that his country would welcome a strengthening of relations between the countries in a range of fields and that he would work to do so during his time here.

The next to arrive at Beit HaNasi was the new Korean ambassador, Suh Dong Gu. The president spoke warmly about his recent visit to Korea last July and thanked President Moon for his warm welcome, inviting him to make a return visit to Israel.

“The free trade agreement is an important achievement for both countries. It is the first time we have signed such an agreement with an East Asian country and I am sure it will help build stronger and deeper relations between us,” said the president. “During my visit, I learned that Israel and Korea have much in common: thousands of years of history, few natural resources and security challenges. Israel and Korea became independent states in difficult conditions, but we both overcame challenges.” The president spoke about how impressed he was with Korea’s advanced technologies, as well as its rich and vibrant culture. He said that his visit strengthened his feeling that there is a strong basis for cooperation between the two countries.

The Korean ambassador thanked the president warmly for his remarks, saying “Your successful visit to Korea gave precious momentum to our bilateral ties. I will use that momentum to advance our relations during my time here.” The ambassador also noted the similarities between the two countries, remarking on a shared national character that values family and education. “I was at the opening of the Knesset and thought to myself that Israel is a miracle, just as Korea is a miracle. I think we can bring these miracles together and that technological cooperation between us can help create more miracles.”


 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of India H.E. Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Singla


The last to present his credentials to the president was the Ambassador of India, Sanjeev Kumar Singla. The president spoke of his particularly warm memories of his visit to India with his late wife Nechama ז"ל. “I had the honor of hosting former president Mukherjee on his historic visit to Israel and we developed a remarkable friendship. Israel and India cooperate in a wide range of fields, civilian and military. We consider our security cooperation as a strategic asset. I hope our cooperation in this field will keep developing. We know that the question of water is at the top of Prime Minister Modi's agenda and it came up in my visit to India and his visit here. I hope we will continue to push forward our cooperation on this. The opening of Air India's flights over the Gulf and Saudi Arabia is an example of how cooperation between Israel and India can advance peace in the Middle East." The president invited the Indian president to visit Israel, saying "I would be so happy to welcome him here to Jerusalem."

The ambassador thanked the president for his welcome and relayed the warm wishes Prime Minister Modi asked to send to the president. He told the president “the three priorities we hope to work on are water, agriculture, and innovation. Your visit to India helped advance the warm relations between our countries and I hope that during my time here they will develop even further.” He added, “Mr. President, I am happy to tell you that the sapling you planted during your visit to India is now an 8-foot tall tree.”

Photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)