New ambassadors from the Netherlands, Austria, Costa Rica, Moldova, and Vietnam today presented their Letters of Credence to President Reuven Rivlin at a formal ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin today (Monday, 1 February 2016) received the diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors to Israel from the Netherlands, Austria, Costa Rica, Moldova, and Vietnam, during a special ceremony at the President’s Residence.
New Ambassador of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Gilles Arnout Beschoor Plug, who arrived together with his wife, and senior staff, presented his letter of credentials to the President. President Rivlin welcomed him and expressed his appreciation for the long history of close friendship between the two peoples. “I am aware of your in-depth understanding of the situation in our region, and welcome your intention to help wherever you can. Between our two people, there is a long history, and we appreciate greatly the Dutch people, culture and of course your football,” said President Rivlin, and added, “I am delighted to welcome you and your wife, and hope you will feel at home here in Israel.”
Ambassador Plug thanked the President, and said, “I want to express my appreciation, and the appreciation of my country for your work for the sake of coexistence. So that we can further our good relations and offer the assistance you spoke about, we must further deepen and strengthen our strong bilateral relations. Indeed we have recently established a bilateral forum between Israel and the Netherlands which this year will meet for the second time.” He concluded, “One of the great strengths we share is diversity. Israel is a diverse society and Holland welcomed over hundreds of years many groups – including many Jewish communities – and we know how this can enrich the country.”
Next, new Ambassador of Austria, H.E. Mr. Martin Weiss, presented the President with his diplomatic credentials. President Rivlin welcomed him warmly and said, “We greatly appreciate your country’s strong and clear stand, and all you are doing to combat anti-Semitism. Every person should be able to worship as they chose.”
Ambassador Weiss thanked the President and said that his country placed great importance in the expansion of trade with Israel. He said, “We share in your desire to expand the bilateral trade between us, and we shall be working toward this.” He stressed, “We also share your desire for peace. The establishment of peace in the region will lead to a better future, full of potential for all the peoples of the region.” Ambassador Weiss then said in Hebrew that he was sorry he could not conduct the whole meeting in Hebrew but he was learning, to which the President responded “Danke schön!” At the end of the meeting, the Ambassador surprised the President with an Austrian football shirt, signed by the national team.
The Ambassador of Costa Rica, H.E. Mr. Esteban Penrod Padilla, was next to present his credentials to the President, who noted to him that Israel still remembered and appreciated that Costa Rica was one of the first countries to recognize Israel’s independence. He said, “This showed your understanding of the wishes and the prayers of the Jewish people to return to their homeland, and to Jerusalem at its heart. We hope that everyone will understand that Zionism has become reality, and that we will be able to build confidence and bring to an end the conflict. We appreciate greatly Costa Rica’s support for Israel over many years, and I am delighted to welcome you to Israel.”
Ambassador Padilla thanked the President and said in Hebrew, “I am very happy to be returning to Israel, the holy land, which I love so much.” He went on to say, “Israel is a beacon for the whole world, in hi-tech, innovation, agriculture and more. Our countries are far apart geographically, but have similar values of democracy. I see a bright future for the relations between our two nations.”
The President next received the incoming Ambassador of Modlova, H.E. Mrs. Gabriela Moraru. The President spoke of the wide ranging bilateral relations and cooperation between the countries as an expression of the historic and cultural bonds between the peoples. He said, “I hope the good will and relations between our peoples will continue to grow stronger,” and added, “We appreciate your decision to allocate International Holocaust Memorial Day as a national day of remembrance.”
Ambassador Moraru thanked the President and said, “I am proud to come to represent my country in Israel. I hope that during my tenure we will be able to increase the cooperation between our nations. Israel is a model of democracy and innovation. I wish for the peace and prosperity of Israel and its people.”
Lastly, new Ambassador of Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Cao Tran Quoc Hai presented his credential to President Rivlin. The President welcomed him and said, “We are now celebrating 22 years of relations which we appreciate. We are excited by your advances and economic progress out of your desire to serve your people. The cooperation between our countries is important and has been successful, and should continue to be so.”
Ambassador Cao spoke of the importance of the contribution to Vietnam made by Israel’s Mashav program which focused on sharing knowledge, empowering human capital, and offering technological assistance in a range of fields. He said, “It is an honor for me to represent my country here. I am sure we will be able to deepen our cooperation in agriculture and innovation among other areas.”