- 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 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
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
President of India Pranab Mukherjee to make state visit to Israel next week
President of India Pranab Mukherjee to make state visit to Israel next week (13-15 October 2015)
The President of India, H.E. Pranab Mukherjee, will (13-15 October 2015) make a state visit to Israel, at the invitation of President of Israel, H.E. Reuven Rivlin. The visit marks an historic political milestone as the first such visit by an Indian president to the State of Israel, and this reflects the continued strengthening of relations between the two countries.
The President of India will receive an official reception at the Israeli President's Residence, after which the two heads of state will hold a working meeting. Later, President Rivlin will host a state dinner in honor of President Mukherjee's visit.
Speaking of the visit, President Rivlin said, "The upcoming visit of the President of India, more than being an important milestone in the relationship of the two countries, will serve to deepen the friendship between our states, in the fields of economy, science, medicine, and agriculture. I am looking forward to the meeting, which will represent one of the highlights of the relationship between the Israeli and Indian peoples."
President Mukherjee's itinerary will also include a luncheon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as meetings with Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, and with Chairman of the Opposition Isaac Herzog. Similarly, President Mukherjee is due to deliver an address at a special plenary meeting of the Israeli Knesset.
The visit will conclude with a ceremony at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, where President Mukherjee will receive an honorary doctorate – marking the ongoing academic cooperation between the two countries.
Israel views with high importance the developing relations with India, and is delighted by the occasion of the first visit of an Indian president to Israel.
Photo :Copyright: By US Treasury Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
President of India Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Yad Vashem is the first visit of its kind by a president of India.
President Reuven Rivlin today (Tuesday, 13 October 2015), accompanied President of India Pranab Mukherjee, on his visit to the Holocaust memorial 'Yad Vashem', as he began his historic state visit to Israel – the first of its kind by an Indian president.
As the two presidents met, President Rivlin noted to his Indian counterpart that he was greatly moved to host him on his first visit to Israel. President Mukherjee thanked President Rivlin for his warm welcome and said he was excited to have the opportunity to visit Israel.
The two presidents together visited the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, in which are stored millions of gathered testimonies to those who perished in the Holocaust. They looked at the many pictures and 'witness testimonies' on display, as President Rivlin explained to his guest about the museum, and the importance of the work done there to preserve the memory of the victims.
The two presidents went on to a memorial ceremony held at the Hall of Remembrance, in which the President of India laid a wreath and rekindled the 'eternal flame' in the hall. The hall has been kept as a place of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and includes the names of the death and concentration camps displayed geographically on the floor, along with a memorial stone, under which were interred ashes of the victims gathered from the Nazi camps.
Following the recitation of the memorial prayer, President Rivlin walked together with President Mukherjee around the circumference of the hall and explained to him the significance of the room, and the ceremony held there.
President Reuven Rivlin and President of India Pranab Mukherjee on visit to Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem
Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
PM Netanyahu meets with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond
The alternative to the deal in Vienna that paves Iran’s path to the bomb is one that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Thursday, 16 July 2015), met with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and said at the start of their meeting:
"Secretary Hammond, I’d like to welcome you back to Jerusalem.
I want to once again express Israel’s solidarity with the people of Britain following last month's deadly terrorist attacks against British tourists in Tunisia. This was so close to the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 murderous attacks in London.
Both our countries continue to face the terrorism of militant Islam, led by Iran and ISIS.
Iran remains the world's preeminent sponsor of terrorism.
Iran's terrorist activities encompass over thirty countries, across five continents.
The deal agreed to in Vienna, I regret to say, paves this terrorist regime's path to the bomb.
The alternative to this bad deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior.
That's the kind of deal that would be welcomed in Tel Aviv and here in Israel's capital, Jerusalem.
Israel would embrace a good deal that would compel Iran to choose between a path to the bomb and sanctions relief.
Unfortunately, the current deal allows Iran to avoid making that choice.
It lifts the sanctions today and paves a path to the bomb tomorrow.
That's not a triumph for diplomacy, but a failure of diplomacy.
And this failure threatens the survival of Israel, the security of our Arab neighbors and the peace of the world.
See, the Iran deal in Vienna grants Iran not one, but two paths to the bomb.
Iran can get to the bomb by cheating and overcoming a porous inspections mechanism, as did North Korea.
Or it can get the bomb by keeping the deal, because the deal allows Iran in about a decade to have a much greater number of even faster, more effective centrifuges than they have today. This will enable Iran to have the capacity to produce the enriched uranium for an entire nuclear arsenal with zero breakout time. And 10 years go by in the blink of an eye.
In the meantime, the sanctions relief offered by the deal will inject hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran's coffers. This money will bankroll Iran’s aggression in the region and its terrorism worldwide.
Israel has no territorial dispute with Iran. In fact, we have no dispute with Iran. Yet, since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has funded, trained, armed and dispatched terrorists responsible for murdering hundreds of Israelis and Jews throughout the world.
And Iran further says that Israel must be annihilated, must be wiped off the face of the earth.
So, Mr. Secretary,
Israelis know better than anyone else the cost of permanent conflict with Iran. And it is wrong to suggest that Israel wants such an outcome.
We seek a genuine and effective diplomatic solution.
But Israelis also know exactly what would happen if we ever let our guard down.
The result of that would be truly permanent.
So it’s evident, Mr. Secretary, that we may not agree on everything. But as friends and allies, we can respectfully disagree.
I look forward to our discussions on this issue, on the issue of advancing peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors and on forging better bilateral ties between Israel and Britain."
PM Netanyahu with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Jerusalem. Photo: GPO/Haim Zach