The Knesset dedicated on Monday a lounge that will serve foreign dignitaries who visit the Israeli parliament. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein and numerous Knesset members attended the event, during which a mezuzah was affixed to the right-hand doorpost at the entrance to the room.
”I am pleased to see that the Knesset has gone back to being a central institution in which world leaders choose to address the people of Israel,” Edelstein said during the dedication of the International Department`s lounge.
Speaker Edelstein decided to build the lounge in light of the great importance he attaches to the Knesset`s foreign relations. Among other things, the speaker has promoted the establishment of inter-parliamentary friendship groups.
The 19th Knesset, which commenced only a year ago, has already seen speeches by French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Parliament President Martin Schulz. The speaker of Russia`s State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, is scheduled to visit the Israeli parliament later in the week.
The lounge, which is located in the Knesset library, will give foreign dignitaries a place to rest and prepare for their speech or for meetings with Israeli officials. It will also serve the heads of inter-parliamentary friendship groups when they host their counterparts from other legislatures around the world. Speaker Edelstein tasked Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot with overseeing the construction of the lounge.
The lounge`s construction ”is another significant step in the goal I have set to take the Knesset`s international relations,” Speaker Edelstein said.
During the dedication ceremony, PM Netanyahu stepped out to the adjacent balcony in order to take in the breathtaking view of Jerusalem.