Joint press release (in the order of H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe)


● Firstly, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the fact that Jewish people were the victims of the incident at a kosher grocery store in Paris. The international community will have to continue their commitment to working against terrorism.


● The visit to Japan by Prime Minister Netanyahu in May last year became an opportunity to comprehensively upgrade the bilateral relationship between the two countries. I have a genuine feeling that the relationship has been deepening in every field.


● Yesterday, I had a first meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and held a meeting with the economic mission that accompanied me this time. I expect further advancement of the bilateral economic relationship such as more active interaction between the business worlds of both countries to be developed as a result of this visit.


● We value Israel's three-year plan towards the strengthening of the economic relationship as it contributes to the development of the overall bilateral relationship.


● I visited Yad Vashem earlier. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and I express my determination that we will never repeat such a tragedy.


● I have realized the significance of the achievement by Chiune Sugihara, who rescued thousands of Jews through the "Visa for Life." I have reaffirmed the long-standing bond between the Japanese and Jewish people.


● Based on this old bond and a new friendly relationship, Japan, as a friend of Israel, will continue to work on strengthening the relationship between the two countries.


● Whilst Japan understands the severe environment in Israel, it will continue to be actively involved in activities towards the stability of the region such as peace in the Middle East. Tomorrow, I will also visit Palestine, and I intend to continue providing my candid advice to both sides as their true friend.


Photo by Amos Ben Gershon GPO




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President Peres:"The leaders of all religions should stand against the killing of innocents, against terrorism."

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, met with a delegation of faith leaders from Argentina who are here as part of an interfaith trip to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. The delegation includes Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders who are engaged in interfaith dialogue and they will conclude their visit with a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

President Peres welcomed the delegation to Israel and said, "I'm very glad to see the faiths working together. These three faiths working together shows religious brotherhood in your country. There are many countries where we have Muslims, Jews and Christians living together and they should work together to support peace as one group. Peace is the uniting message of religions and it has a great influence because nowadays peace is built on trust not force. We have to have peace among people not only governments. I don't see any contradiction between science and religion, they are complimentary. You have a very important role to play because science which is the major economic factor, like religion doesn't have borders and is dependent on the spirit and quality of people. The new pope has shown that spirit and values are more important than possessions; he returned religion into a spirit rather than an organization, a faith more than a church. I hope that your togetherness will spread all over the world."

President Peres addressed the situation in the Middle East and said, "Terror is destroying countries and mainly the Arab countries in this region, there is terrible bloodshed. Some of them are using the name of religion to justify their actions. The leaders of all religions should stand against the killing of innocents, against terrorism. Terrorists kill everybody indiscriminately. We should make a loud and clear call from all religions against killing innocent people. It's against the Koran, the Torah and against the New Testament."

The representatives of the three faiths thanked President Peres for his welcome and said, "This group was created under the auspices of Pope Francis when he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The idea was to create an interfaith dialogue group intended to be a place of discussion and action. Interfaith dialogue is crucial in a global world. This visit has an importance in world politics. Our statement from Jerusalem - the 'Jerusalem Commitment' - contains principles which we believe can be universally accepted by all as a path to peace. We are from civil society with different political ideals but we feel that our religious leadership can contribute to international relations and statesmanship."

Luis Grynwald of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires presented President Peres with a Mate (a symbolic Argentinian cup) on behalf of the delegation and said, "This is an Argentinian symbol. Everyone drinks from the same cup - Jews, Muslims, Christians and all citizens of the country. It's a symbol that we can live in peace, in Argentina, in Israel and all over the world."

Photo Credit: Mark Neiman/GPO




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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) held a working meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil. During the meeting, the Foreign Minister extended an invitation to President Rivlin on behalf of King Felipe VI to make a state visit to Spain.


President Rivlin began by speaking about the good relations between the two states. He said, "We greatly appreciate the efforts of Spain to restart the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Spain is an important friend, and just as between friends, even when there are differences of opinion, our friendship remains."


The President spoke of the importance of rebuilding in Gaza, "The rehabilitation of Gaza is as much an Israeli interest as it is an international interest. Although, we must ensure that the resources are not used by Hamas to rebuild the tunnels and their terrorist infrastructure."


Foreign Minister José Garcia-Mallargo y Marfil spoke of the new role of Spain as members of the UN Security Council. He said, "There is no doubt that the issue of the recognition a Palestinian state will return in the future. We believe that unilateral steps will not lead to an end of the conflict, but that negotiations, with the support of the international community, are the only way forward. We have asked both sides to avoid unilateral steps."


The Foreign Minister also noted the President is known to be a fan of soccer, and said he would be keen to know whether he preferred Real Madrid or Barcelona. The President responded, "My grandchildren are very divided on this. As a soccer fan, I appreciate the way Barcelona play, but I must say, I have been a fan of Real Madrid for many years." Foreign Minister Garcia-Mallargo y Marfil was pleased to hear this and said he was a fan of the club himself.


 Photo Mark Neymann GPO




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Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlățean, is paying an official visit in Israel between 23rd and 26th of December. The schedule of the visit includes in-depth talks on the stage and prospects of the Romanian-Israeli bilateral relations with Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The head of Romanian diplomacy will be received by President Shimon Peres and will meet with the leadership and members of the Israeli Government: Uri Orbach, Minister for Senior Citizens, Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Information and International Relations, and Tzipi Livni, Minister of Justice and Chief Negotiator in the dialogue with the Palestinian party.
On Monday, 23 December 2013, Foreign Minister Corlăţean met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman. The heads of the two diplomacies mentioned the excellent progress of the bilateral political-diplomatic dialogue, reiterating the special relationship created in the 65 years of uninterrupted bilateral relations.
The two Ministers assessed the measures discussed during previous rounds of political consultations and agreed to accelerate the demarches aimed at deepening the cooperation between the two ministries of Foreign Affairs. Both officials underscored the interest in organizing the next joint meeting of the Romanian and the Israel Cabinet, in Bucharest, in 2014.
At the same time, they reviewed the progress of sectorial cooperation in the economic field, in the areas of investment, research and development, energy and education. As far as the economic sector is concerned, they discussed about measures to support an increased presence of Romanian firms in Israel in the field of construction, energy infrastructure, oil and gas. Minister Avigdor Lieberman shared the assessment of his Romanian counterpart as to the benefits likely to be generated by the presence of Romanian experts in various fields, in the high-tech area in particular.
During the meeting the Romanian Foreign Minister asked the Israeli party to accelerate and increase the flexibility of the procedure of granting long-term visas to Romanian students and businesspeople interested in operating in Israel, a topic the Israeli party will approach in an open manner.
The agenda of the talks also included themes related to international dossiers, the two Foreign Ministers having an in-depth exchange of views, notably on the stage of negotiations in the framework of the Middle East Peace Process. The head of Romanian diplomacy underscored the importance of continuing the direct talks with a view to obtaining a solution accepted by both parties – the Israeli and the Palestinian parties.


Photo provided by the Romanian embassy 



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