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Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "It is a great honor for me to host the Cardinal in Jerusalem. I see great importance in maintaining warm connections between the Christian and Jewish communities, and in strengthening and walking along the path that represents the life of Cardinal Lustiger. I hereby invite the members of the Christian community in France to visit Israel, to enjoy the beauty and the historical and religious treasures that this land has to offer, while strengthening inter-faith ties."

His Eminence, André the Twenty-third, Cardinal of Paris arrived in Israel last week for a historic visit, accompanied by a 130-strong delegation. The Cardinal participated in a ceremony unveiling a commemoration plaque at Abu Ghosh in memory of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who converted from Judaism and worked within the Catholic Church to promote close ties between Christianity and Judaism.

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau hosted a festive reception last weekend in honor of the Cardinal and his delegation at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. During the course of his visit, the Cardinal led prayers in churches throughout Israel, visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Qasr el-Yahud, Qumran, Masada, the Ramon Crater, Beit Hatfutzot and Bethlehem. The visit generated publicity in the Christian media, including coverage by six accompanying journalists from the French Catholic media who were guests of the Tourism Ministry.

The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to this visit of leading opinion-formers in France, who have the capability of making significant contributions in increasing  pilgrimage tourism from France.

In 2012, about 300,000 tourists arrived in Israel from France, of whom 60% were Jewish and 29% Christian. 

Photo credit: Dudi Salem

Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, leads 'Mission for Growth' to Israel


"Mission for Growth" includes 65 EU companies and organizations for B2B meetings at WATEC. VP Tajani to hold talks and sign letters of intent with key Israeli ministers setting the basis for future bilateral cooperation


Strengthening already flourishing business relations and exploring further opportunities for cooperation between European and Israeli SMEs will be the main focus of a visit to Israel by Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. During the visit, which will take place on October 21-22, VP Tajani will be accompanied by some 65 industry associations and companies from 17 EU member states which will hold B2B meetings at WATEC - Water Technology and Environmental Control Conference


In meetings with President Peres and key Israeli ministers, the European Commission Vice-President will also discuss and sign letters of intent on strengthening cooperation on industrial policy, in the field of satellite navigation research and on SME cooperation.


Following similar visits to Russian and China, this "Mission for Growth" to Israel reflects the EU's belief that there remains untapped potential in bilateral relations and this visit aims at finding new synergies. It also recognizes Israel's world class capacity for innovation which rests on its highly innovative businesses that benefit from the presence of excellent research institutions geared towards the needs of the business sector.


On the evening of Monday, October 21, VP Tajani will meetMinister of Science, Technology and Space Yaakov Perryandsign an administrative arrangement on cooperation in the field of satellite Navigation with the ministry and the Israel Space Agency.


On the morning of Tuesday, October 22, he will discuss expanding tourism cooperation with Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau. Following this, at the WATEC conference, he will meet with Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, with whom he will open an EU-Israel Business Round Table and sign a "letter of intent" on industrial cooperation and on Small and Medium Enterprises. This will be followed by a meeting with Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom and the delivery of a keynote speech at the WATEC conference

On Tuesday, 22.10.13 at 12.30 Vice President Tajani will hold a press conference at WATEC, Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds, Building 10, Room A1


In the afternoon Vice President Tajani will meet with President Shimon Peres at the President's Residence in Jerusalem


FM Liberman condemned the attack yesterday on the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and conveyed the Israeli government's regret over the incident.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met today (9 October 2012) with Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlăţean at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

President Peres called upon European leaders to continue to apply pressure against Iran's nuclear program

President Shimon Peres, today (Tuesday, 1 October 2013), began the third day of his visit to the Netherlands with a visit to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague where he was received by King Willem-Alexander. The two inspected an honor guard, saluted the national anthems and then held a private meeting. At the start of the meeting, King Willem-Alexander welcomed President Peres to the Netherlands and said that it was a great honor to host the President of the State of Israel as his first official guest at the Palace and added that he had visited Israel on a number of occasions and was always impressed by the country and its people and that he looked forward to strengthening the relations between the two countries.

President Peres also held a diplomatic working meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, during which the two discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the situation in Syria and bilateral relations between the two countries in light of recent steps taken by the Dutch government to isolate products from settlements from Israel's trade agreement with the European Union. At the end of the meeting the two leaders held a joint press conference which Prime Minister Rutte opened by welcoming President Peres to the Netherlands and thanking him for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Prime Minister Rutte detailed the close and historic relationship between Israel and the Netherlands and said he welcomed the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He added that the Netherlands hoped to continue to play a positive and central role in the process to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Rutte addressed the issue of boycotting goods from settlements and stressed that the Netherlands is opposed to boycotting goods from Israel and that the issue had not even been considered within in the country. With respect to the recent decision by the European Union the Prime Minister said that the Netherlands was working within the European Union, as an inseparable part of it, to reach a consensus and find a solution which does not harm the peace process.

President Peres thanked the Prime Minister and said, "Europe, like Israel, understands that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be solved through negotiations and dialogue, not through sanctions. A day after the European announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks for nine months – if a deal is reached between the sides there will be no need for the European sanctions, they will be irrelevant. I am sure Europe did not plan to make the negotiations more difficult but if the sanctions are implemented that will be the effect."

President Peres continued and called upon the Netherlands, as a central member of the European Union, and to other European countries to oppose the Iranian nuclear threat and not to allow Iran to complete its race to [achieve] long range missiles with nuclear warheads, "Europe's support is important to preventing the Iranian threat. I hope that the new voices will bring a new reality in Iran – but nuclear weapons for mass destruction are a threat to the entire world and we must work to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons."

President Peres is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Dutch parliament later this afternoon (18:00 Jerusalem time); an embargoed copy will be made available before the speech. The speech will be shown live on the website of the Dutch parliament. At 21:00 President Peres will be the guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by King Willem-Alexander.




Netanyahu: Strengthening the relationship between America and Israel is in the interest of peace, in the interest of both our countries, and I believe that your visit is an expression of that desire on both of our peoples.