President Rivlin: "It is clear to us what is happening in our region is likely to impact the whole world."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin (Thursday, 25 February 2016) at a ceremony at his residence, received the diplomatic credentials of four new ambassadors to Israel from Japan, Egypt, Malta, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, included an honor guard, and – after the presentation of the credentials – the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel’s national anthem Hatikva.
Ambassador of Japan, H.E Mr. Koji Tomita presented his letter of credentials to the President who congratulated him on his appointment, and asked he send his warmest regards to the Emperor of Japan. He said, "I am aware of your country’s great work for the benefit of all the free world," and added, "I am aware of your desire to play a positive role in our region."
The President went on to stress that militant Islam was causing great distress across the region, "It is clear to us what is happening in our region is likely to impact the whole world. We know that you are highly respected by the Palestinians, and I know that you are able to help us build bridges between Israel and the Palestinians, and build confidence and the understanding that it is in our mutual interest to live together." The President concluded, "An ambassador with your great experience can help us with our neighbors in the region. We are looking forward to the future, and to working to strengthen the ties between Israel and Japan."
Ambassador Tomita thanked the President for his warm words, and said that the Emperor had asked him to convey his personal greetings, and had expressed to him his strong desire to deepen the cooperation between Israel and Japan. He said, "The issues you raised are the issues which I would be delighted to assist move forward during my tenure." The Ambassador added that it was his hope to be able to help in promoting the vision of the Prime Minister of Japan, to use diplomacy to bring a resolution to the conflict. He concluded, "I will do all in my power to advance cooperation between our countries in order to realize the desire of our leaders to strengthen the ties between us."
President Rivlin then welcomed new Ambassador of Israel to Egypt, H.E. Mr. Hazem Ahdy Khairat, "I welcome here at the President’s house ambassadors from around the world. But it is very special to welcome ambassadors from our close and important neighbors. Egypt is ‘Um El Donya’, ‘mother of the world’ and especially in our region Egypt plays a most important role. We live together in a difficult region. We have found a way to live together in peace and friendship. This is a message to the whole region, and the whole world. I was in Egypt during times of war, and I was in Egypt during peace. The peace agreement between our countries is an international treaty and it is for both us, a top priority. We may not agree on everything, but we respect each other and because of this we will build a shared future."
Ambassador Khairat thanked the President for the warm welcome and said, "We must take responsibility for the benefit of those who live in this region, to bring prosperity, justice, hope and equality."
The President wished him success in his new role and said, "I sincerely hope that you and your family will feel at home." Before departing, the Ambassador signed the official guestbook in Arabic and wrote, "I presented today my letter of credence to his honor President Rivlin. We spoke in a constructive atmosphere regarding the urgent matters and agreed to work together to reach a comprehensive, and just peace in the region."
Then, Ambassador of Malta, H.E Ms. Cecilia Attard-Pirotta presented the President with her diplomatic credentials. President Rivlin congratulated her on her appointment and said, "I welcome you happily as a neighbor on the Mediterranean Sea, and I thank you as the Jewish people will never forget that Malta was the only country that didn’t demand a visa from the Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. We are looking forward to working with you during your time here as ambassador."
Ambassador Attard-Pirotta thanked the President and said it was a privilege to represent her country in Israel, and noted, "Last year we marked 50 years of diplomatic relations. We are looking forward to deepening our economic ties, as well as sharing knowledge and experience. I will certainly do all I can in order to strengthen our bilateral relations."
Finally, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E Ms. Jelena Rajaković presented the President with her credentials. The President said, "You have faced many challenges in your region in the past, just as today, we are dealing with ongoing conflict in our region. In Israel, Jews and Arabs live together, and we often look at your country, as one which solved the conflict in your region, and could help us find the way to create better relations." The President noted the good relations between the two countries and said, "The ties between us are strong, yet we must strengthen them further. We appreciate your efforts on Holocaust education, and your work to combat antisemitism."
Ambassador Rajaković thanked the President for his words and said, "Bosnia and Herzegovina was created by a peace agreement and is comprised of different groups and communities. We have a very complicated constitutional structure, but we manage it peacefully. We are close friends of Israel, and enjoy good relations, and there are many opportunities to strengthening these ties."