The President, who will be leading a delegation of businesspeople as well as the heads of Israel’s security industry, will meet the King, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament, and will deliver a major speech to a special session of the Spanish Congress.

 President Shimon Peres departs on official visit to Spain


President Shimon Peres meets with Spanish PM Jose Luis Zapatero (Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom)

(Communicated by the President’s media advisor)

President Shimon Peres leaves tomorrow (Monday, 21 February 2011) for an official visit to Spain as a guest of King Juan Carlos I in order to mark 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain. Forty business CEOs and business people from leading Israeli companies will join the President on the visit in an effort to promote commercial relations and ties between Israel and Spain. Among the companies represented are IMI, Raphael, Aeronautics System, RAD Data Communications, and Radcom.

The President’s visit will take place between 21-24 February and is an official visit. Its purpose is to strengthen and expand strategic, diplomatic, and economic relations between Israel and Spain.

Within the framework of the visit, President Peres will conduct a series of high level diplomatic meetings with the country’s leadership including the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez, Head of the Opposition Mariano Rajoy, and President of the Congress of Deputies Jose Bono Martinez. The President is expected to discuss with his hosts the dramatic events that have taken place recently in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear threat, their attempts to strengthen terror organizations like Hizbullah and Hamas, and to dominate the Middle East. Another goal of the visit is to strengthen relations between Israel and the European Union and increase cooperation between the two countries.

During the course of the visit, the President will participate in a series of events and ceremonies including an official state welcoming reception at Madrid’s airport, the dedication of the Israel-Spain Casa (house) –  the joint center for Israel and Spain marking 25 years of diplomatic relations, and the presentation of the key to the city of Madrid in the Municipal Palace.

During the visit a special emphasis will be placed on promoting Israel amongst the Spanish public. The President will conduct a series of interviews for the Spanish media, give background press briefings for senior media editors, and conduct a press conference with the Prime Minister of Spain. He will also deliver a special diplomatic address in front of hundreds of public officials, opinion leaders and students at Europa Press.

At the beginning of the visit, the president will participate in a ceremony at the Central Synagogue of Madrid with hundreds of members of the Spanish-Jewish community.

The Office of the President together with the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, and the Manufacturers Association of Israel coordinated a delegation of senior business people from a wide range of industries in the Israeli economy that will accompany the President on his visit. The Spanish Labor Relations Council has planned a comprehensive program for the Israeli business-people that includes professional working visits, meetings with senior government officials, and with their business counterparts with the purpose of concluding significant business transactions between Israel and Spain. 

President Peres is expected to open the Israel-Spanish Business Forum, together with the Spanish Minister of Industry and Trade.  He will also appear in front of the "Major Spanish Companies Forum" alongside the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy.

Among the leading Israeli companies expected to join the President’s visit are, Israel Military Industries (IMI), Aironotics, Rafael, RAD Data Communications, RADcom, Nandongene, Almotech, Keter Plastic, and IDE Technologies. In addition, the Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Avi Hefetz, will be joining the visit.