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President Rivlin on state visit to Bulgaria

 

President Rivlin: "We must all stand strong together and say in a loud and clear voice that above all else, we will fight terrorism and its supporters in any place they may try and reach and in every place they will attempt to hide."

 

President Reuven Rivlin began this morning, (Thursday, 7 July 2016) a state visit to the Republic of Bulgaria. The visit began with an official welcome ceremony by the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, at the Plaza in St. Alexander Nevsky Square. During the ceremony, the national anthems were played and the Presidents together reviewed a guard of honor and watched a military parade. At the end of the ceremony, President Rivlin laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
 
 Following the ceremony, the Presidents continued onto a lengthy work meeting at the President's Residence, during which the Presidents discussed the strong relations between the two countries, and expanding their cooperation. Among other issues discussed, the Bulgarian President updated President Rivlin on the developments of the investigation into the terror attack in Burgas which took place in 2012. As the meeting concluded the two Presidents gave statements to the press.
 
 In his opening remarks President Rivlin thanked the President of Bulgaria for his warm welcome and noted the strength of the relationship between the Jewish people and the Bulgarian people over the years.
  
The President noted Bulgaria's support of Israel upon its establishment and the support of the Bulgarian people to the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation. The President said, "We will not forget the asylum you gave our people during the terrible Holocaust that killed six million of our brothers and sisters, in the darkest period known in Europe. Forty eight thousand Jews survived the Holocaust thanks to the heroism of the Bulgarians, and their stance against the Nazis."
 
 He continued, "And even more recently, we have been witness to how you stood in front of the flames of hatred and terror which have also hit Bulgaria," and continued, "The flames that have left no nation immune in recent years. We must all stand strong together and say in a loud and clear voice that above all else, we will fight terrorism and its supporters in any place they may try and reach and in every place they will attempt to hide.
 
 "Mr. President, Israel is proud of our steadfast friendship and fruitful cooperation between the two countries," the President concluded, "The results of years of diplomatic relations are apparent for all to see in many areas. Much more potential for future cooperation awaits us, and I hope that my visit today will help to promote them, and will strengthen our friendship. I wish to thank you for the wonderful hospitality - I am honored to be here today. "
 
 President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev said, "This visit is a testimony to the special relationship and strong friendship between the two peoples and will help to further deepen ties and cooperation. The relationship between the two countries has only continued and strengthened in recent years, but the friendship and mutual respect between our peoples is rooted deep in history.
 
 "During this visit we will inaugurate the monument commemorating the rescue of Bulgarian Jews, in the hope of preserving the memory of the heroic deeds of the Bulgarian people for future generations. Unfortunately, our country could not save the Jews who were not citizens of Bulgaria during the Holocaust and lived in areas adjacent to us."
 
 He added, "In our hearts we will always remember the tragedy of the 2012 attack in Burgas. The two countries are doing their best since then so this tragedy may never to repeat itself. Bulgaria will do its utmost to bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.
  
"Israel is a strategic partner and there is huge potential for bilateral cooperation in various fields including high-tech, electronics, energy, agriculture and more.  We will continue and develop businesses between the countries and we will establish new projects that will provide many opportunities for Bulgaria and Israel. We welcome the Israeli tourists who come to the country every year.  Thousands of Israelis visited Bulgaria last year, and we will be happy to see more and more Bulgarians visiting Israel. We also see Israel as a potential supplier of gas to our region. In view of our strategic location we can deliver gas to Europe from Israel."
 
 President Plevneliev stressed the defense cooperation between the two countries and noted that cooperation in this field has never been more successful, and said: "We want to be of help to Israel in Europe, and hope that Bulgaria will be the platform for the realization of Israeli interests. The friendship between me and the President (Rivlin) is strong and it will benefit the two peoples."
  
Later, President Rivlin met with Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the political situation in the Middle East and specifically the growing phenomenon of ISIS. The two discussed the absorption of Syrian refuges making their way to Europe and the support of terrorism by states such as Iran.
  
Later today, the President will inaugurate the monument to commemorate the rescue of Bulgarian Jews by the Bulgarian people during World War II. In the evening, the President will meet with representatives of the Jewish community, and later the President of Bulgaria will hold an official dinner in honor of President and First Lady Rivlin at the President's Residence.
 
 President Rivlin inaugurates memorial to the rescue of the Jews of Bulgaria by the Bulgarian people during the Holocaust
 
 President Reuven Rivlin today, (Thursday, 7 July 2016) inaugurated a memorial to the rescue of Bulgarian Jews by the Bulgarian people during the Holocaust. He was accompanied at the ceremony by President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, who both spoke and together unveiled the memorial. Also addressing the event was Alexander Oscar, president of the Jewish community in Bulgaria. The memorial was designed by architect Yitzhak Lipovitsky, and an identical version is due to be inaugurated in Tel Aviv, which is twinned with Sofia.
 
 
 Photo
 President Rivlin and President Plevneliev at the official welcoming ceremony in St. Alexander Nevsky Square
Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach
 

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday, 19 July 2017), held a series of bilateral meetings with the heads of government of the Visegard Group: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Prime Minister Netanyahu met yesterday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.)

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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