- Written by Office of the President
President Rivlin meets world leaders, and receives condolences from around the world on the passing of Israel’s Ninth President, Shimon Peres
President Reuven Rivlin met today () with a number of world leaders visiting Israel to attend the funeral of Israel’s Ninth President Shimon Peres. In meetings held at the President’s Residence, the President welcomed the King of Spain, the Prince of Wales, the President of France, the Governor General of Australia, and the Prime Minister of Canada.
In the morning, President Rivlin welcomed His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, and expressed his appreciation for the King’s attendance at the funeral of “one of the founders, one of the builders of the State of Israel, an important personality in the history of our people.”
The King expressed his condolences and those of all the Spanish people on the passing of former President Peres, he noted he was “a great man and a great statesman, as well as being great friend of Spain”. He commented that President Peres had done much to build relations between the two peoples, and paid tribute to “his efforts for peace worldwide”.
The King extended an invitation to President Rivlin to visit Spain, and the two went on to speak about the long history between the Jewish people and Spain, including the great tradition of the Jewish scholars and culture which prospered there before the Expulsion. The President similarly stressed the importance of recognition for the Jewish people’s historic roots in the land of Israel.
Among the leaders that President Rivlin met with before the funeral were Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. President Rivlin stressed to him the importance he placed in building confidence between the two sides. President Abbas expressed his desire that they would meet under different circumstances.
After the funeral, President Rivlin welcomed to his residence His Royal Highness, Charles Prince of Wales and expressed his appreciation for his arrival in order to attend the funeral of the late President Peres.
Prince Charles thanked the President for his warm welcome, and said “It is a very sad moment, and I want to convey the deep condolences of the Queen to you on this sad occasion. President Peres, of whom I have very fond memories of meeting, tried so hard to achieve the peace that is badly needed.” The two went on to discuss issues including the necessity and challenges of building bridges between different faith communities.
Later in the afternoon President Rivlin welcomed President Hollande of France, Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.
In addition to his meetings, President Rivlin had received in the past few days many messages of condolence sent to him and all the people of Israel on the passing of Israel’s Ninth President Shimon Peres. Messages were received from both serving and former world leaders from across the globe.
Pope Francis sent a telegram marking his warm appreciation for former President Peres and said, “I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan wrote to President Rivlin and said of President Peres that, “his contribution towards achieving peace and security in the region are more relevant than ever before, as the situation becomes more complex and the security of this entire region comes under threat.”
In a joint letter, European Council President Tusk and European Commission President Junker described President Peres as “an icon on the world stage who will be dearly missed for his unwavering dedication to coexistence in the Middle East between all peoples.”
Similarly, in a message from India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, he noted that, “The worldwide admiration and accolades that he received for his work – including the Noble Peace Prize, are a testimony to the values that he stood for.” Meanwhile China’s President Xi expressed his condolences and noted, that President Peres “had made important contributions to China-Israel ties”.
In a telegram, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her “heartfelt condolences,” and recalled warmly meeting President Peres in 2008, while British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “President Peres had many friends in the UK, and there is a profound sense of loss here today.” She noted he was a “towering figure in Israel’s history,” and added, “his determination to look to the future was always an inspiration.”
Also sending their condolences to President Rivlin were heads of state from Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Belgium, Sweden, Azerbaijan and many others.
Attached photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
PM Netanyahu Meets with East Asian and Israeli Religious Leaders
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 12 September 2016), met with East Asian religious leaders who are in Israel for the first conference of its kind (organized by the Foreign Ministry, the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders) – a meeting between religious leaders from East Asia and spiritual leaders from Israel. Among the participants were representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, Jain, Sikh, Taoist and Zoroastrian faiths
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
President Rivlin’s official visit to Russia
President Rivlin visits Moscow, meets with President Putin in the Kremlin
President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday), on the first day of his official visit to Russia, met with President Putin at the Kremlin, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and visited the Russian National Library.
Before their meeting, Presidents Rivlin and Putin delivered brief media statements. President Putin welcomed President Rivlin and said, “Mr. President, I welcome you with all of my heart on your arrival to Russia, and I am pleased to receive the President of the State of Israel here. The relationship between Israel and Russia has a long history. In Israel live around a million and a half people from the former Soviet Union, who speak Russian, know Russian culture, and have a Russian mentality. They maintain ties with friends and family who remained in Russia, and this adds something very special to our relations. In addition, the number of Russian pilgrims who visit Israel is increasing each year. We thank Israel for returning to us, holy sites which were once under our control. There are a range of other issues which we will speak about in our meeting, such as trade and economic cooperation, as well as security in the region. We have also spoken by phone with the Prime Minister of Israel, and we have agreed to speak further on these issues.”
In response, President Rivlin said, “Mr. President, thank you for your warm welcome. It is an honor for me to be here with you in your beautiful country. Israel and Russia have a long history. We enjoy cooperation in a range of fields, and we also both know what it means to have to deal with terror and fundamentalism. As a Jew, I want to say that we will never forget the Russian people and the Red Army for their victory over the Nazis. Around the world, many survivors of the Holocaust remember that the first soldiers they met on their liberation were the soldiers of the Red Army. I thank you again for the invitation and I look forward to our meeting, we have many important issues to discuss.”
Earlier in the day, President Rivlin was welcomed with a guard of honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, where President Rivlin laid a wreath and the military band played the Israeli national anthem (Hatikva).
From there, the President went on together with his wife, Mrs. Nechama Rivlin, to visit the Russian National Library where he was shown some of their extensive collection of Jewish texts and documents from the 15th and 16th Centuries, which included many Jewish prayer books and holy texts. The President was also shown around the library’s archives where he was shown how the texts are preserved. The President commented that Israel was ready to assist in any way with the preservation of the collection.
Tomorrow, President Rivlin is due (09:30 Israel) to visit the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, dedicated to the memory of the Russian Jewish community throughout history up until the fall of the Berlin Wall. He is then due to meet with members of the Jewish community (10:30 Israel).
Later, (12:00 Israel) President Rivlin is scheduled to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia. President Rivlin will then to go on to hold a working meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (14:00).
Photo : Mark Neiman (GPO)
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
PM Netanyahu meets with Cyprus President Anastasiades in Jerusalem
The discussions reflected the close and very important relations both countries enjoy. The two leaders emphasized their shared interests in regional stability and agreed to continue countering sources of extremism and terrorism.
Israel-Cyprus joint statement
The following was issued this evening (Sunday, 24 July 2016):
"The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, held wide ranging discussions that reflected the close and very important relations both countries enjoy.
In the course of the discussions, both leaders emphasized their shared interests in regional stability and expressed their agreement to continue countering sources of extremism and terrorism.
The two sides continued their talks about emergency response cooperation. Both leaders encouraged their teams to conclude these talks as soon as possible.
The two sides discussed the unitization issue regarding the Aphrodite and Yishai gas fields, and concluded that by September 2016 the two Energy Ministers will seek to finalize these discussions.
In the context of the exploration and development of energy resource in the eastern Mediterranean, both leaders concluded that there is no question that resolving the outstanding issues between Cyprus and Turkey would greatly facilitate the pace of the development of future projects, which will proceed according to international law, as well as greatly enhance stability in the region. Therefore, Israel has a strong interest in the resolution of this issue.
Both leaders stressed the importance of the trilateral framework between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece and reconvening together by the end of the year, as was agreed between the parties at the Nicosia Summit, on January 28, 2016."
Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of his meeting in Jerusalem with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Sunday, 24 July 2016), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, made the following statement at the start of his meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades:
"Cyprus and Israel are two small democracies in the eastern Mediterranean. We also share common challenges, and also common opportunities: in security cooperation, in gas, in emergency cooperation, commerce, tourism, many, many fields.
I will never forget that in 2010, when we faced a ferocious forest fire in the Carmel Forest, the first country I called was Cyprus. If offered to send a plane. It did send it, and I was privileged to reciprocate last month when you faced a ferocious forest fire, and we sent our planes to extinguish your flames. Back in April, our two nations, along with Greece, conducted a joint fire-fighting exercise to enhance our regional cooperation in emergency situations.
And that's exactly the kind of thing that friends do. They come to each other's help in times of need, but also cooperate in good times or cooperate to make times better. And that's why I'm particularly proud to have this opportunity to continue the dialogue we began on a tripartite basis in the Nicosia summit. We're continuing those discussions, both bilaterally but also multilaterally, and we continue to send our people.
But of course we know, as leaders, that there's no substitute for the meeting of the people at the top, so in this spirit, I welcome you once again."
Statement by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the start of his meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Sunday, 24 July 2016), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, made the following statement at the start of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"Thank you very much, my dear friend, Prime Minister. It is a pleasure to be back in Jerusalem and to have an opportunity to discuss with you many of the important developments that have taken place in the past few months.
But before I say anything else, I want to express to you and to the people and Government of the State of Israel personally my gratitude and the gratitude of all Cypriots for the indispensable assistance which you offered recently during the terrible forest fires in Cyprus. I also want to especially thank the professional men and women who came to our aid – the pilots, the ground crew, the support staff and their officers, who so quickly went on alert, flew to Cyprus and helped us in our time of need.
In the sadness of natural disasters, I have to point out something that gave me hope for the future: The fact that the level of mutual cooperation between Cyprus and Israel has reached the point where reaction is so swift and smooth. We know that we can rely on each other, and this is the result of a lot of work that we have been doing together during the past few years in bringing our countries closer.
We are reliable partners that see eye to eye on a wide agenda of issues, reaching from energy to security to a very sincere, open and frank political dialogue. We have been tightening our areas of cooperation, from tourism to education and business, sharpening our joint training, and through continuous coordination have been forming a common language. This common language enables us to stand by each other in these very challenging times, as we are faced with so many attacks against our common rights. This is true in our immediate region, but also in many parts of the world.
These frequent meetings – this is actually our fifth meeting in a year – our regular talks on the telephone (it's another way of communication) and our transparency are essential for our partnership of strategic choice and important in understanding each other's needs as peoples and states.
I cannot but highlight that last week almost 80 flights took place between Israel and Cyprus. In one week, 80 flights, and today's it was the 81st flying to Israel.
In this spirit, I look forward to our meeting today to discuss how to enhance more our bilateral relations in the fields of energy, security, economy and trade, to exchange views on the regional developments, to brief you on the negotiations about the Cyprus problem, and of course to prepare for the next trilateral meeting later this year with our Greek colleague here in Jerusalem, in order to continue the work which we started in Nicosia last January.
Once again, thank you my dearest friend for hosting us in Jerusalem and I look forward to our conversation on the many important subjects that are of mutual concern."
Photo GPO / Kobi Gideon
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on state visit to Israel
President Rivlin: "Israel stands together with Kenya against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam, as they murder innocent men, women, and children from all religions and nations."
President Kenyatta: "We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it."
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning (23 February 2016) hosted at his residence an official welcome ceremony for President of Kenya, H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, who was on a state visit to Israel. The President welcomed his guest on the red carpet before they both stood for the national anthems, and reviewed a guard of honor. The President's then went on to deliver statements, before holding a working meeting during which they discussed the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two countries.
In his remarks to the media, President Rivlin welcomed President Kenyatta to Israel and spoke of the shared pain both nations had felt as a result of terrorism. He said, "When I heard of the terror attack in Somalia where many of your soldiers were killed, I was reminded of the terror attack in 2002 at the hotel in Mombasa, where 3 Israeli citizens were killed. In Israel today we face the ongoing threat of terror and hatred. We feel the pain together with you. Israel stands together with Kenya against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam, as they murder innocent men, women, and children from all religions and nations."
President Rivlin spoke of the importance of the cooperation between the two nations, especially in the field of development. He noted, "Israel is proud of the cooperation between our peoples. Thanks to MASHAV we are working to educate people, develop agriculture, and protect the environment. It is my hope this cooperation will continue to grow and that the close ties between our people will become stronger. Your visit is an important step in building this friendship."
President Kenyatta thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, "It is my sincere hope that this visit will cement the bonds that are already strong, and link our two countries. Let me assure you Mr. President that we in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. This is a friendship not only born out of a long history of fraternal relations, but is also manifested in very real and concrete corporation in a number of important areas," which he noted included, "defense, water resource management, fisheries, education, technology and scientific corporation." President Kenyatta added, "The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it."
The two Presidents then went on to hold an extended meeting in which they discussed in greater depth the regional situation in Africa and the Middle East, as well as efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. Later this evening, the President and First Lady Rivlin will host a state dinner at their residence in honor of the President of Kenya's visit.
Photo 1 President Rivlin hosts official welcome ceremony for Kenyan President Kenyatta
Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman
Photo 2 Kenyan President Kenyatta is welcomed on arrival in Israel by Minister of Religious Services David Azoulay
Copyright: Miri Shimonovich