The President of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, Marco Antonio Nunez Lozano, visited the Knesset Wednesday morning. Following a welcome ceremony at Weil Plaza, Lozano laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial for fallen Israeli soldiers and signed the Knesset guestbook. Later, he held a work meeting with Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, with the participation of the head of the Israel-Chile Parliamentary Friendship Group, MK Sharren Haskel. The meeting was held in Edelstein`s bureau.

During the meeting, Edelstein stressed the importance of promoting cooperation between Israel and Chile ”which combines the needs and interests of both countries.”

President of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies at the Knesset: ”Israel showed how to build a democratic society which respects its past and looks to the future”

”We have two active and excellent ambassadors, and a very active chairwoman of the Israel-Chile Parliamentary Friendship Group, MK Sharren Haskel, so I am certain that our cooperation on many issues, including technological initiatives, will be advanced and developed,” the Knesset Speaker said.

Lozano noted that additional members of the Chilean parliament are scheduled to visit Israel soon. ”We in Chile understand very well that human rights, democracy and peace are issues which must be nurtured on a daily basis,” he said. ”Israel is an example of a country which showed how to build a democratic society which respects its past and looks to the future.”

The senior Chilean official mentioned that his country is currently in the process of drafting a constitution, ”on the basis of human rights.”

”It is very important for us to know what is going on with regards to the peace process with the Palestinians, because Chile has a large Palestinian community,” stated Lozano.

”This is my fourth visit to Israel, and I have been very active in nurturing the relations between our countries,” he added. Lozano was accompanied by the designated president of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, Osvaldo Andrade Lara.

Following his meeting with Edelstein, Lozano met with members of the Israel-Chile Parliamentary Friendship Group. Later, Lozano and his entourage observed a plenary sitting from the VIP gallery. During the session, Speaker Edelstein greeted the Chilean delegation and, addressing Lozano, said ”As you certainly know, Israel has long since been facing an ongoing struggle not only for its existence, but also for its very [right] to exist on God`s land. Many of our Palestinian neighbors prefer to ignore our hand that is extended in peace and cooperation, and prefer to speak in the language of the rifle and the knife, slaughter a mother at the entrance to her home in front of her children, or slaughter people who are enjoying a night on the town.”

”In your country resides the largest Palestinian community outside of Israel; a large portion of it, the Christian portion, came from here. Naturally, it makes its voice heard in an effort to sway public opinion, and it often does so with harsh attacks against Israel and what it represents,” Edelstein told the Chilean guest.

”I hope that the atmosphere among [Chile`s] citizens and public leaders will not be influenced by the lies and the anti-Semitic hatred which fan the flames, and I hope the good relations between our countries will not be affected by what is happening in this region.”