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 President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin this evening (Monday) hosted at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, an official state dinner in honor of the visit of President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales and First Lady Patricia Marroquin de Morales. At the beginning of the evening both Presidents delivered toasts.


President Rivlin welcomed his guests and said, “It is an honor and pleasure to host you here in Jerusalem, the eternal city, Jerusalem, a city dear and holy for the people of Israel and for those of faith around the world.” He added, “The honorary doctorate you received today from the Hebrew University – the jewel in our crown – is a sign of the recognition of the community in Israel, and the importance of your mission and achievements so far. At the same time, this award expresses your true friendship, and that of your country, toward Jerusalem and the Jewish people.”


The President added, “As the leader of your country, you are faced with challenges in the present, in the here and now – they are important, demanding, and urgent. In the face of these challenges, Israel is a faithful partner of Guatemala under your leadership. Israel is not a just partner in words, we are your partners in actions, in the facts on the ground.” The President went on to stress the importance of the wide ranging cooperation between the countries in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and food provision. The President concluded that, “Your visit is just the beginning, and an opportunity for the State of Israel to give thanks to a country who is a true a friend of Israel.”


President Morales thanked the President and said, “This is a great honor for my family and me, and for my delegation, to be hosted here at a dinner which is testament to the excellent relations between our countries. It is a great privilege and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness which we have received on this visit. We truly feel at home. On my visit I am also accompanied by my mother who has long dreamt of visiting the holy land, and for this I thank you.”


He added, “I want to stress the cooperation and also the assistance and professional training to thousands of our citizens through scholarship programs and to state that a great number of our cabinet ministers were recipients of this help, including our Health Minister, and our Education Minister, among many others who are thankful to Israel. This activities are part of the great efforts of our governments to advance economic and social development. The exemplarily bilateral cooperation between us will only grow further.”


He concluded emotionally by saying, “In the name of the more than six million people of Guatemala, I convey to the Israeli people a warm embrace, we love and appreciate you.”


Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)