New ambassadors from Angola, the Philippines, South Sudan and Jamaica today presented their Letters of Credence to President Reuven Rivlin at a formal ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem
Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman
(Communicated by the President’s Media Advisor)
At a formal ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, new ambassadors from Angola, the Philippines, South Sudan and Jamaica this morning (Wednesday, 10 December 2014) presented their Letters of Credence to President Reuven Rivlin upon taking up their appointments. Each noted their desire to strengthen ties between their own countries and Israel, and to promote partnership and cooperation.
Ambassador Feliciano Antonio Dos Santos of Angola presented his credentials to President Rivlin and said: "Israel has played an important and significant role in in assisting infrastructure and agricultural development in Angola, and we benefit from your experience and knowledge in these fields. I have been asked to take action to strengthen and deepen of the bilateral relationship between our two countries, and to promote cultural partnerships. We hope that with your help my work here will be most productive."
President Rivlin warmly welcomed the ambassador and said: “Angola plays an important, central role in Africa, and your economy sets an example to many countries around the world. Our countries enjoy an excellent relationship that is important to both sides. We appreciate Angola’s progress with regard to water planning and agriculture and the successful implementation of the country’s natural resources. Welcome to Israel."
Ambassador Nathaniel Imperial of the Philippines presented his credentials to President Rivlin and said: "I am delighted and honored for the opportunity to serve my country in the Holy Land. The good will that characterizes the relationship between our two countries began back in the 1930s, when the president of the Philippines opened the door for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. We issued many visas and no doubt that if the war in the Pacific had not broken out many Jews would have found shelter in our state and been saved. The ‘open door policy’ is another expression of solidarity between Israel and the Jewish people to the Philippines. Many of my countrymen live and work in Israel, and enjoy safe employment and good condition, and we are grateful and very proud."
President Rivlin praised the good relations between the two countries and said: "Two weeks ago we celebrated the 29th of November commemorating the vote at the United Nations that established the State of Israel. We will never forget that you were the only country in Asia that supported us on this vote. We appreciate and remember this fondly to this day. There is a large, vibrant and involved Philippine community living in Israel. In Israel, there is a strong and vibrant community from your country. Their integration and contribution to Israeli society is evidenced by so much, including the success of a member of the community on a leading Israeli television talent show. There is a wonderful relationship between our countries, and we look forward to expanding it. It is a great pleasure for us to have you in Israel as a diplomat and as a renowned poet; I hope that your books will be translated into Hebrew so that we can all benefit from them."
The first ambassador of South Sudan to Israel, Mr. Ruben Marial Benjamin, presented his credentials to the president and said: "I am pleased to be able to serve my country in Israel. I was sent here in the wake of the long and warm relationship we have built. We have struggled and fought for an extended period, Israel is an important ally that has helped us tremendously, and we appreciate it. I am happy to say that I feel at home in Israel. "
President Rivlin responded: "I am moved to receive your credentials as your country’s first ambassador to Israel. There are many similarities between us. We value the security relationship between our countries, and we view South Sudan as an important friend. On a personal note, as a child I wanted to be a soccer player but I was not good enough, so I became president of my favorite football club. I know you were once a successful professional soccer player and I invite you to play and practice in Jerusalem."
Ambassador Margaret Ann Louise Jobson of Jamaica presented her credentials and said: "It is a pleasure for me to serve as Jamaica’s ambassador to Israel. When I left Kingston I was told that Israel is an important country for us. Jamaica and Israel enjoy a special relationship. Jews were among the first settlers on the island and have since made a significant contribution to establishing and developing the economy of the island. I believe that we have a good strong base to further strengthen our relationship in the future."
In response, President Rivlin stated: "It is a pleasure to welcome you to the capital of Israel and resume the submission of credentials of Jamaican ambassadors. Our bilateral relations are excellent and there is no doubt your presence will help to strengthen and deepen this bond." Referring to the ambassador’s status as a non-resident representative, President Rivlin added: "We will be happy to see you in Israel much more."