On Thursday 28th February, 2013 the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, received letters of credence from five new ambassadors representing Vietnam, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Chile and Zambia.
The diplomats, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Mr. Ta Duy Chinh, Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Sarath Devesena Wijesinghe, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr. Sisa Ngombane, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile H.E. Mr. Jorge Montero Figueroa, and Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia H.E. Ms. Mary Mildred Zambezi; who will be assuming their positions as ambassadors of their countries in Israel, presented their letters of credence at an official ceremony held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem.
During the ceremony, the new ambassadors thanked President Peres for his welcome and said it was a great privilege to serve in Israel. The incoming South African ambassador expressed his hope that the peace process with the Palestinians can be restarted. The new Vietnamese ambassador thanked President Peres for the improved relations between the two countries in particular in the fields of agriculture and technology. The Chilean ambassador was pleased to be reencountered with President Peres having met him years ago when Peres, then an Israeli chancellor, visited the Latin American country. H.E. Ms. Mary Zambezi, Zambian Ambassador, reiterated her gratitude to G-d for allowing her to be serving her country in the Holy Land, being this only the second time she was in Israel, she said.
On his behalf, President Peres wished the diplomats luck and expressed that "Israel is faced with strategic and diplomatic challenges", hoping that this would be an opportunity to expand cooperation with the countries of the newly appointed ambassadors.
When addressing the issue of the peace process with the Palestinians and the possibility of reengaging in negotiations, President Peres stated, "I believe that the solution is two states, for two peoples living side by side in peace and security. The peace process is top of our agenda."
After the protocol, a private reception was held for the diplomats at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The reception was an opportunity for the new Ambassadors to exchange views and greetings on the new positions and the challenges ahead of them.
Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr. Sisa Ngombane
Ambassador of the Republic of Chile H.E. Mr. Jorge Montero Figueroa
Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Sarath Devesena Wijesinghe
Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Mr. Ta Duy Chinh