President Rivlin: We are looking forward to welcoming President Trump on his important visit, and to working with the new Administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians.

At a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Tuesday, 16 May 2017), received the diplomatic credentials of the new United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Ambassador Friedman arrived at the President’s Residence accompanied by his wife Tammy, and daughter Talia. The ceremony began with the playing of the US national anthem, and after the new Ambassador presented his credentials to the President, both men gave brief statements to the media. After a brief meeting the new Ambassador then signed the official guest book, and was joined by the President at the entrance to the residence for the Israeli national anthem, 'Hatikva'.

 
After presenting his credentials to the President, President Rivlin congratulated the new Ambassador and said, “I am happy to welcome you and your dear wife to Israel, to Jerusalem. I know you have been here many times before, but this time you are an Ambassador representing the USA, Israel’s greatest, and most important ally.”
 
The President continued, “We are looking forward to welcoming President Trump in less than a week. His visit is very important. It is a sign of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the USA. We look forward to working with the new Administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians.”
 
The President stressed, “I want to also express my appreciation for the strong example America set in taking action against the terrible crimes being committed in Syria, and added, “You showed that red lines cannot be crossed. The whole free world has a duty to the Syrian people, to end the humanitarian nightmare. Israel is proud of all the medical care we give to the injured. As long as there is a need, we will continue.”
 
President Rivlin went on to note, “Next week, we will celebrate 50 years since Jerusalem was united, and the Jewish people were able to once again pray at the Western Wall. But Jewish Jerusalem is not 50 years old. Since the days of King David, this city has been our capital. It is time for the whole world to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel. De Facto, not just De Jure.”
 
The President concluded his words by wishing the Ambassador much success in his new role, and said he was looking forward to working together with him to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
 
Ambassador Friedman thanked the President for his warm welcome and for receiving his credentials. He told the President that, “As a seventh generation Jerusalemite, you continue the connection to Jerusalem that began with King David some 3000 years ago.”
 
He continued, “Serving the US as its Ambassa dor to the State of Israel, is the greatest honor of my life, and I pledge to you to do all that I can to strengthen and enhance the relations between our two great nations – that you accurately described as unbreakable and, I would add, without limits.”
 
He stressed, “I am so grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity, for having confidence in my abilities, and most importantly for sending me off this past week with the unequivocal and unambiguous mandate to support the State of Israel in every way, and in all ways. As you know, the President has chosen Israel as the site for his first international visit this coming week. His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and enjoys his highest priority.”
 
The Ambassador added “I look forward to working with you and a the people of Israel to do even more to bring together the United States and Israel — in every field, from culture to education, life sciences, high technology, commerce, trade, and of course military and strategic cooperation and so many other things.” 

Photo President Rivlin receiving the diplomatic credentials of US Ambassador David Friedman. Photo: GPO/Mark Neiman.