Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived at the Knesset on Wednesday for his first official visit to the Israeli parliament. After signing the Knesset guestbook, Poroshenko and members of his delegation, which includes senior ministers and MPs, were invited to the bureau of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.

During the meeting, Edelstein told his guest ”We are following the developments in your country and the reforms that are being implemented in it. Only yesterday an important reform in the judicial field was approved in your country. The changes in your country are happening at a rapid pace, and this is never easy, but we all send you wishes for success.”

Ukrainian President Poroshenko to Speaker Edelstein: Addressing the Knesset – one of the highlights of my career

”We hope that after this important visit, the relations between our countries will be tightened even more,” Edelstein said, while mentioning Israel`s involvement in humanitarian and civil projects in Ukraine, including training psychologists to treat people who suffer from trauma and assisting in the establishment of an emergency medical array. ”Unfortunately, Israel has a lot of experience in these fields,” the Knesset speaker told his guests.

Edelstein also mentioned that the Ukraine-Israel Friendship Group in the Ukrainian parliament is one of the largest parliamentary friendship groups, and added that future cooperation between the Israeli and Ukrainian legislatures is expected to focus on security within the parliaments, computerization, technology and the ”Green Knesset” project.

President Poroshenko said the warm welcome his delegation received at the Knesset ”is symbolic of the good relations between Ukraine and Israel.” He invited Edelstein to participate in the events that will mark 75 years since the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar, which are scheduled to take place in Ukraine in September 2016. ”You, more than anyone else, are aware of the importance of freedom and democracy, and the price a person can pay in their absence,” Poroshenko told Edelstein.