President Rivlin: “Our two countries have already for 25 years, enjoyed a relationship that has not been simply between governments, but has become a close relationship between two peoples, looking to the future, without requiring either you or us to forget the past.”
(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Reuven Rivlin opened his official visit to Poland, at a festive reception at the Polish presidential palace. Accompanied by the President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, President Rivlin was presented with the guard of honor, and was introduced by the Polish President to a number of the presidential entourage. After the national anthems, the President and First Lady Nechama Rivlin, held a closed meeting with the Polish President and his wife Anna. During their meeting, President Rivlin presented the Polish president with a copy of the Menorah (Temple candelabra) from the Israel Museum, with the inscription, ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they that love you prosper’ (Psalms, 122).
During their meeting, President Rivlin said, “My good friend President Komorowski, I consider myself blessed that my first official visit should be to Poland, and in honor of this historic event for both nations, the opening of the Jewish museum. Today, through the museum, we have opened a window into the past, and the ability of the Jewish people to return home and fight for their country, with many of its roots planted here Warsaw.”
The President continued, “Our two countries have, already for twenty-five years, enjoyed a relationship that has not been simply between governments, but has become a close relationship between two peoples, looking to the future, without requiring either you or us to forget the past; the wonderful past in which Poland was home to so much of the Jewish people, and also the horrific years of the Holocaust, of catastrophe, and of heroism.”
President Komorowski responded, “I welcome you warmly on your arrival to Poland. I have no doubt that during your visit, we will continue to build and reinforce the strong ties between our countries in a range fields, including economic and security.” During the meeting, President Rivlin extended an invitation to President Komorowski to visit Israel, which the President of Poland happily accepted.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the two Presidents made statements to the media. President Rivlin thanked his Polish counterpart for his warm hospitality, he went on to say about their meeting that, “We have signed an R&D agreement, which not only serves to acknowledge the excellent work being done under the Israel-Poland partnership, but will facilitate better relations, and encourage even more such projects. Indeed, we have spoken today about cooperation that extends well beyond relations between two governments. We have spoken today about a partnership and cooperation between two peoples.”
The President stated that the two had discussed the current situation in the Middle East, and spoken about the challenges facing all democracies. “Our ideals are under the constant threat of extremism; whether in the form of radical Muslim groups, or the emergence of other elements seeking to deny the rights and freedoms of others.” The President spoke about the importance of educating the next generation. He said, “We spoke about the need to educate the next generation about the dangers of hatred and extremism. We have spoken about the need to nurture a mutual respect, to ensure that the evil of anti-Semitism, and all discrimination, is stamped out wherever it is found. I know that my honored host agrees with me that, we must work to build mutual respect and understanding. Thank you again, and I look forward to working together for the benefit of both our peoples.” The President then repeated his invitation to President Komorowski to visit Israel, in order to continue to develop and build relations between the two countries.
President Komorowski thanked the Israeli President, and warmly embraced him, accepting his invitation to make a state visit to Israel. President Komorowski commented, “I wish to express great satisfaction that the President of Israel is with us today, on this special day that we are opening the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, remembering the last thousand years. I would also like to thank the President for having chosen for his first official visit as President, to come to Poland, demonstrating a common desire to build friendly relations between Poland and Israel and, between our people."
President Komorowski stressed the importance of the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. He said, “The opening of the museum is a good investment for the future. President Rivlin and I spoke today, as we have on many enjoyable occasions in the past, and found many ways to strengthen the relationships we have built; economic cooperation, and cooperation in a matter so important to us – innovation and technology.” The President added, “Poland as a developing country, and a member of the European Union, will serve as an important partner to Israel. I presented our views to the President, regarding the international security situation, and the changes in our region, including the crisis in Russia and Ukraine”. President Komorowski stressed, “Poland is a partner in ensuring that the security of Israel, is an important factor for the international community to recognize.”
Following their meeting, President Rivlin visited the grave of the Unknown Soldier, where he laid a wreath as part of an official ceremony. The President will go on later today to inaugurate the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.