Photo President Reuven Rivlin with Ambassador of Angola, Mr. Feliciano Antonio Dos Santos
Newly appointed ambassadors to Israel presented their diplomatic credentials today (Wednesday) to President Reuven Rivlin, at an official ceremony at the President's Residence. Each noted their desire to strengthen ties between their own countries and Israel, and to promote partnership and cooperation.
Incoming Ambassador of Angola, Mr. Feliciano Antonio Dos Santos, thanked the President and said, "Israel has played an important and significant role in assisting infrastructure and agricultural development in Angola, and we are benefiting from the experience and understanding which you bring in these fields. I have been asked to take action to strengthen and deepen the relationship between our countries, and to promote cultural partnerships. We hope that with your help, my time here will be most productive."
President Rivlin warmly welcomed the Ambassador and said, "Angola has a central role in Africa; your economy is an example to many states around the world. Between our countries, we share excellent relations, of importance to both sides. We are impressed by your progress in the area of water and agriculture, and successful use of natural resources. I am pleased to welcome you to Israel."
Photo President Reuven Rivlin with Ambassador of the Philippines, Mr. Nathaniel Imperial
The incoming Ambassador of the Philippines, Mr. Nathaniel Imperial said, "I am delighted and honored to serve my country in the holy land. The good will, which characterizes the relationship between our countries, began already in the late 1930's, when our President initiated the 'open door policy' for Jews fleeing persecution at the hands of the Nazis. We released many visas, and if it had not been for the war in the Pacific, I have no doubt that many more Jews would have found shelter in our state. This 'open door policy', was an expression of the solidarity between Israel and the Jewish People, and the Philippines. In Israel, there are many workers from my country, and they enjoy safe employment with good conditions, for which I am both grateful and very proud."
The President praised the good relations between the two countries and said to the Ambassador, "Two weeks ago, we commemorated the 29th of November, when the UN voted for the creation of a Jewish state, and we will never forget that you were the only Asian country to vote in favor. We appreciate and remember this fondly to this day. In Israel, there is a strong and vibrant community from your country, whose integration and contribution to Israeli society is evidenced by so much, including the success of a member of the community on a leading Israeli television talent show. There is a wonderful relationship between our countries, and we look forward to expanding it. It is a great pleasure for us to have you in Israel as a diplomat and as a renowned poet; I hope that your books will be translated into Hebrew so that we can all benefit from them."
Photo President Reuven Rivlin with Ambassador from South Sudan to Israel, Mr. Ruben Marial Benjamin
For the first time, an Ambassador from South Sudan to Israel, Mr. Ruben Marial Benjamin, presented his credentials to the President. The Ambassador said, "I am happy to serve my country in Israel, and I have been sent here following the long and warm relations between us. We understand what it means to be in a long struggle, and Israel is an important friend who has helped us greatly and we appreciate this. I am happy to say that I feel at home in Israel."
The President responded, "I am excited to receive your appointment as the first ambassador from your country. We have much in common, we appreciate greatly the security ties between us, and see in South Sudan an important friend. On a personal note, I wanted to be a soccer player when I was a child, but sadly I wasn't good enough, and so I decided to be the president of my favorite club instead. I know that you are a good soccer player, and so I am happy to invite you to play and train in Jerusalem."
Photo President Reuven Rivlin with the Jamaican (non-resident) Ambassador to Israel, Mrs. Margaret Ann Louise Jobson
Lastly, the Jamaican (non-resident) Ambassador to Israel, Mrs. Margaret Ann Louise Jobson presented her credentials and said, "It is a great pleasure for me to serve as Ambassador to Israel. When I left Kingston they said to me that Israel is an important country for us. Jamaica has special bonds with Israel; the Jews of Jamaica were some of the earliest settlers to the island, and have contributed immensely to the economy and development. I believe there is a strong and sound basis to deepen our ties in the future."
The President responded by saying, "It is a pleasure to host you in Israel's capital, and to renew the presenting of credentials by the Ambassador of Jamaica. The relationship between our countries is excellent, and there is no doubt that your presence will help strengthen and deepen this bond." The President added in relation to the ambassador's status as a non-resident representative, "We will be happy to see you in Israel much more."
Photos Credit Mark Neumann