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President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the first Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the State of Israel

 President Rivlin:


“The entire Israeli people welcomes you with joy. This will be your most important mission – to welcome the hands reaching out to you, to meet the Israeli people and to get to know them up close. Treaties are signed by leaders, but real, sustained peace is made between peoples, face to face.”


President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Monday 1 March / 17 Adar, received diplomatic credentials from the first Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the State of Israel, Mohamed Mahmoud Fateh Ali Al Khaja. The ambassador presented his letter of credence on assuming his role as ambassador to the State of Israel, in an official ceremony in the Hall of Beit HaNasi.


During the ceremony the national anthems of both countries were played by the Band of the IDF. The ambassador reviewed an IDF honor guard, reduced in size because of the coronavirus restrictions, and signed the Beit HaNasi guest book. The president and the ambassador then delivered joint statements and held a working meeting.


“Ahlan wa’Sahlan, Siyadat a-saphir! Marhaba bikum fi-Yerushalayim, f‘il-Quds!,” the president welcomed the amabassador in Arabic, and said that he was happy to meet him and his delegation in Israel, in holy Jerusalem.



The president said it was a very moving occasion for him as President of Israel, but also a special moment for him as the son of Prof. Yosef Yoel Rivlin ז"ל, who dearly loved the Arabic language and the culture of the peoples of the region. He said, “My father’s life’s work was the translation of the Holy Quran in to Hebrew. My father’s house, not far from here in Jerusalem, was filled with Jewish, Muslim and Christian scholars, who learned from each other and imagined a future of partnership, mutual respect and peace between the sons and daughters of Abraham. In this home I learned that we, the people living here, were not doomed to live together, but destined to do so on this land, to build it, develop it and lead it to a time of peace and prosperity. “


We look in wonder at the oasis in the desert that you have created. The Emirati leadership has established, with wisdom, innovation and sense, a state that seeks peace, a hub for technology, economic development and tourism, a place that looks ahead. Our two countries share this ethos – a small people that wish to turn arid land into a blooming garden, against all odds.”


“We have nurtured the relations between us for some time, believing that if we waited patiently the time would come when we could take them one step further and deepen the friendship between us and make it public. Thanks to brave and wise leadership, we are fortunate enough to see this wonderful day when the Emirati flag flies beside the Israeli flag over Beit HaNasi, the home of the Israeli people.”


“You should know that not only I am moved. The entire Israeli people welcomes you with joy, and opens its arms to you to welcome you to us. And this, Mr. Ambassador, will be your most important mission – to welcome the hands reaching out to you, to meet the Israeli people and to get to know them up close. Treaties are signed by leaders, but real, sustained peace is made people to people, face to face. There are so many things we can do together, Israelis and Emiratis, to advance our peoples and the whole Middle East, to a time of regional cooperation, mutual respect, prosperity and peace.”


At the end of his remarks, the president wished the ambassador success on his mission and invited Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zaid to make a state visit to Israel and Jerusalem. “I wish you great success in building this bridgehead between our countries and our peoples. The doors of Beit HaNasi are always open to you. Ahalan wa’Sahlan bikum!”


Photo credit: Mark Neyman, GPO



  Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk of Ukraine

President Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Ukraine, Brazil, Portugal, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador

President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Thursday 24 February / 12 Adar, received diplomatic credentials from the new ambassadors of Ukraine, Brazil, Portugal, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador to Israel as they begin their postings, in an official ceremony at Beit HaNasi. Each ambassador was welcomed with the playing of their national anthem by the Israel Police Band and then reviewed an IDF honor guard, smaller in size than normal because of the coronavirus restrictions. After presenting their letters of credence, the ambassadors signed the Beit HaNasi guest book.


First to present his credentials to the president was Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk of Ukraine. The president welcomed him to Israel, and noted the strong relations between the countries. He spoke about the common fight against antisemitism, saying “We must all join together to counter rising antisemitism. We are concerned about the antisemitic incidents that take place from time to time in Ukraine, and thank you for fighting its rise.” The president added that he hoped that Ukraine would also officially adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The ambassador thanked the president and said, “We will work to preserve the Jewish history of our country and to prevent antisemitism and racism.”


 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador Gerson Menandro Garcia De Freitas of Brazil


Ambassador Gerson Menandro Garcia De Freitas of Brazil then presented his letters of credence to the president. “To us Israelis, Brazil is a legend,” said the president, “with its beautiful landscapes, culture and, of course, football” He noted the importance of Brazil’s support of Israel in the international arena, and the excellent cooperation between the countries. The president noted Israel’s commitment to defend itself against threats to its security, and that the International Criminal Court in The Hague has turned into a political body, rather than fulfilling its original aim of prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ambassador De Freitas thanked the president and said that he would do all he can to strengthen the relations between the countries.



 Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of Portugal, Jorge Tito De Vasconcelos Nogueira Dias Cabral


The next to be received by the president was the ambassador of Portugal, Jorge Tito De Vasconcelos Nogueira Dias Cabral. The president congratulated Portugal on assuming the presidency of the European Council, and said “I hope that together we can even more important and leading work between Israel and the EU, and that it must not be conditioned on political matters,” and asked to send his best wishes to the president of Portugal on his re-election.


Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador Macairog S. Alberto of the Philippines 


Ambassador Macairog S. Alberto of the Philippines then presented his credentials to the president. They talked about the mutual desire to extend the areas of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of security, trade, innovation and agriculture, among others.


Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Ernesto Torres Pereyra


President Rivlin then received letters of credence from the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Ernesto Torres Pereyra. The president welcomed the ambassador and invited President Abinader of the Dominican Republic to visit Israel, noting his hope that the embassy of the Dominican Republic would return to Jerusalem soon.


Photo: President Rivlin with Ambassador Mireya Del Carmen Muñoz Mera of Ecuador,


Finally, Ambassador Mireya Del Carmen Muñoz Mera of Ecuador, accompanied by her mother, presented her credentials. The president spoke about boycotts as a tool of international diplomacy, saying “There are disagreements even between friends. Argument and discussion are part of the links between us, but boycotts are not a legitimate way of working.” The president expressed his appreciation for the bravery of Ecuador’s consul in Stockholm during the Holocaust, who was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, saying what he did would never be forgotten. The Ecuadorean ambassador thanked the president for his welcome and said that this is a time when the world is conscious of the need for cooperation and solidarity, as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted her country’s valuable and important cooperation with Israel and said she hoped to extend and deepen these links.

Photo credits: Mark Neyman (GPO) 




On the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which was celebrated on January 27 and is one of the strategic events of the Ministry, we have published a video in Spanish and English with a message from the Minister and a video and a podcast with interviews with the General Director of the Centro Sefarad-Israel, Miguel de Lucas

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Ms. Arancha González, joins the campaign, #ProtectTheFacts to combat Holocaust denial #Shoah
:and expressed
"We say no to: deny, excuse, manipulate or minimize the #Holocaust." Only by knowing the mistakes of the past can we avoid a repetition of the suffering that today we say should not happen again

Minister Arancha González's statement for the Holocaust Memorial Day



.The two foreign ministers also signed memoranda of understanding for policy consultations and an agreement for cooperation with MASHAV-Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.


. In a historic virtual ceremony, the first of its kind, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi and Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs Meliza Haradinaj today (Monday, 1 february 2021), signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and Kosovo. At the end of the ceremony, FM Ashkenazi unveiled the plaque that will be placed at the entrance to the Kosovo embassy that will be established in Jerusalem.

 FM Ashkenazi: “The establishment of relations between Israel and Kosovo is an important and exciting historical step that reflects the many changes the region has experienced in recent months. Today, Kosovo officially joins the circle of countries that strive for peace and stability and recognize Israel and Jerusalem as its capital.


 “Kosovo's decision to join the circle of countries fighting antisemitism who have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism is conclusive proof of the important alliance between peoples and cultures. I sincerely hope that Kosovo will continue to operate in this way of peace and war against extremists, and will also work to recognize Hezbollah and all its branches as a terrorist organization.”

In addition to the document establishing the bilateral relationship, the two foreign ministers signed memoranda of understanding for policy consultations and an agreement for cooperation with MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.

 The ceremony was preceded by a bilateral meeting attended by the two foreign ministers and their professional teams, during which the Kosovo FM Haradinaj emphasized her country’s commitment to designating Hezbollah as a terror organization. In addition, she detailed her program to promote Holocaust remembrance education in Kosovo as well as care for Jewish cemeteries and the opening of a Jewish cultural center this year.


 The virtual ceremony was also attended by Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the US State Department.

 FM Ashkenazi thanked the US administration for its great contribution to the establishment of relations between Israel and Kosovo and added: “I thank the United States for its efforts to promote world peace and for promoting Israel's relations with countries with which we did not have diplomatic relations until recently. Israel wants to see a stable Balkans. If there is will on both sides, we will be happy to participate in the effort to establish confidence-building measures together with Kosovo and Serbia under the auspices of the United States.”


Photo .FM Ashkenazi unveiling the plaque that will be placed at the entrance

to the Kosovo embassy in Jerusalem. Photo: MFA.





Jerusalem, Dec. 3 – Israel's Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen and H.E. Minister Zayed Al Zayani signed a historic MOU in the field of tourism on Wednesday, as Israel and Bahrain continue to build upon the Abraham Accords regional peace initiative. At the ceremony in Jerusalem, Al Zayani said he and his delegation were returning to Bahrain "with lots of hope and ambition that we will forge the peace signed by our leadership, so it transmits to every Israeli and every Bahraini citizen."

Farkash-Hacohen said the visit was "dedicated to bilateral professional meetings between the two ministries, to explore new opportunities and promote tourism initiatives between our countries. Airlines, hotel representatives, travel agents and tour operators from both sides met to discuss practical plans and initiatives in the field of tourism." The MOU, the minister stressed, provides the framework to turn ideas into plans into packages. "Together, we can create packages for regional tourism, offering tourists from Brazil, China or Australia or the Philippines to visit both our countries."


The MOU is the first of its kind between Israel and the Arab states in the Gulf. It includes a number of sections on bilateral cooperation between the governments and the private sector in the field of tourism, and calls to develop various types of travel: for families, wellness, business, and others. Additionally, the MOU establishes a joined committee headed by the Ministers, which will meet regularly to promote joined ventures among travel agents, airlines, tour operators, and all relevant industry representative.

Minister Farkash-Hacoen stated she would work to open travel for Bahrain tourists as soon as possible, and stated: "Governments sign treaties, but people create peace. This is why signing a bilateral tourism MOU is so important. We are encouraging travel between our countries. We are encouraging people to meet and interact with each other. We are connecting two cultures. By doing so, we are encouraging true and lasting peace."


H.E. Al Zayani said: "You will find in us a true partner, a genuine investor and a frank friend. We feel there is a real opportunity to develop tourism between our two countries, and beyond. And we invite you and welcome you to use Bahrain as a springboard to the rest of the world, and look forward to using Israel as a springboard for us to the rest of the world."

"No doubt COVID19 put a lot of pressure on the hospitality and tourism sector," Al Zayani added. "It is our responsibility to make sure this sector is back on its feet as soon as possible. I would like to extend an open invitation to you and to all Israelis to come and visit our country."

Photo credit: Yossi Zamir (GPO)