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President Rivlin hosts state dinner in honor of President Cartes of Paraguay


President Reuven & First Lady Rivlin this evening (Monday) hosted at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, a state dinner in honor of the visit of Paraguayan President Horacia Cartes, who was making the first state visit to Israel by a president of Paraguay.


At the beginning of the evening both presidents delivered addresses. At the dinner were in attendance Julio and Dario Messer, members of the Jewish family from Brazil which 'unofficially adopted' President Cartes in his youth.


At the beginning of his address, President Rivlin welcomed President Cartes and spoke of the strong ties between the two peoples. He said, "While Paraguay is thousands of kilometers away from Israel, its friendship with Israel and the Jewish people is true and enduring. As such, Paraguay absorbed fifteen to twenty thousand Jewish migrants who were fleeing Nazi oppression. Just as you stood by the Jewish people then, you stand today alongside Israel. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this important diplomatic support, and we hope it will continue into the future."


President Rivlin continued on to say, "We must not just praise the past, we must care for the future, for the deepening of the friendship between Israel and Paraguay, the widening of our cooperation, and the growth of bilateral trade and investment. Your visit here is a step of unparalleled importance on this path to the future."


President Cartes of Paraguay thanked President Rivlin for the warm reception and said, "Today I am realizing a dream, I am in Israel. Mr. President, my deep love for Israel and its people is tied also to the Jewish family that supported me during difficult times." He added, "We will expand our cooperation with Israel, one of the most advanced countries in the fields of science and technology. Paraguay and Israel share deep historical bonds. We share values of freedom, dialogue, protecting human rights, and condemnation of all forms of fundamentalism. Together we will continue on this path." 


Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)