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 International graffiti artist and actor, Corin Nemec, (star of the series "Parker Lewis Can't Lose") came to support Israel and painted today (Sunday) a giant graffiti wall for peace, centered on a portrait of the late Ninth President of Israel, Shimon Peres, at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. Nemec came to Israel as part of a delegation through the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa Ron Huldai led a group of children – participants in Peres Center programs – in adding to the graffiti performance art, which will be displayed around the world at a time when international graffiti artists are using art to criticize Israel.

Together with the people of Germany, we will mark a long journey - a journey which has brought us from the unforgettable horrors of the past, to the shared values of the present, and with cooperation and friendship, will lead us to a promising future.


Israel and Germany mark 50 years of diplomatic relations

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin will on Sunday evening (10 May) depart for a state visit of Germany at the invitation of German President Joachim Gauck, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.


As preparations for the visit drew to a close, President Rivlin said, "My visit to Germany is for me both emotional and deeply significant. Together with the people of Germany, we will mark a long journey - a journey which has brought us from the unforgettable horrors of the past, to the shared values of the present, and with cooperation and friendship, will lead us to a promising future.


I have no doubt that my meetings with the German President, Chancellor, and senior government officials will help deepen the cooperation between our two peoples and governments. It is important to remember that our friendship is in no way compensation for the Holocaust. It is built on a basis of shared values, after Germany accepted upon itself responsibility for that dark period. Today, we are thriving, with the values of democracy and freedom of expression, having been able to learn the lessons of the past."


Relations between Israel and Germany were established gradually, and began with the signing of the Reparations Agreement in 1952. After the development of relations on an economic level, political relations were officially established between West Germany and Israel in 1965. Over the years there has been a significant strengthening of bilateral relations between the countries, and the forging of close cooperation in the political, security, economic, and cultural fields.


During the course of the visit, President Rivlin will deliver a special address marking the jubilee of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany; meet with President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merke, President (Speaker) of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; and lay a wreath at the Platform 17 memorial to the Jews of Berlin murdered in the Holocaust. He will be the guest of honor at a celebratory concert of the Berlin Philharmonic, meet with young Israelis and Germans involved in partnership projects, and meet with German students at Kiel University. President Rivlin will also meet with participants of the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation, and hear from them about different ways to conserve and strengthen bilateral relations, and examine the history of relations between the two countries.



French President Francois Hollande will, on Sunday, 17 November 2013, arrive in Israel, together with his partner Valerie Trierweiler, on his first visit to Israel as President of France.

French President Hollande will be welcomed at Ben-Gurion International Airport in full ceremony. From there, he will proceed to a reception at President Shimon Peres' Jerusalem residence. Afterwards, he will continue to Mt. Herzl and Yad Vashem.

In the evening, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two men will hold a joint press conference and sign bilateral cooperation agreements. The Prime Minister and his wife Sara will then host President Hollande and Miss Trierweiler for dinner at the Prime Minister's official Jerusalem residence.

On Monday morning, President Hollande will visit the Church of St. Anne in the Old City of Jerusalem, from which he will proceed to the Palestinian Authority. In the afternoon, he will address a special session of the Knesset plenum, to be followed by a state dinner at President Peres' Jerusalem residence. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife will also attend the dinner.

On Tuesday morning, President Hollande will lay a stone on the graves of the victims of the March 2012 terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse. From there, he will go to an economic event on Israeli innovation that was created especially for him. After the event, the French President will meet with members of the French community in Israel at Tel Aviv University, which will mark the conclusion of his visit.

During the visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu and French President Hollande will sign a joint statement that expresses the continued growth of bilateral relations, the determination to continue and deepen cooperation in many areas of strategic importance, and the strengthening of economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The French President is a close friend of the State of Israel and I look forward to hosting him and his partner in Israel, especially at this time when the major powers, including France, are discussing ways to halt the Iranian military nuclear program. I am also pleased to host his team and French government ministers, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is taking an active and important part in the current talks by the major powers. Together we will work to advance and deepen bilateral strategic and economic relations."




President Peres and the Foreign Minister of China, Mr. Wang Yi held a diplomatic work meeting and delivered joint statements

President Peres:
"Israel faces not only grave threats but also great opportunities. The threat of a nuclear Iran must be met. The chance for peace must not be ignored."

"China, as a key player in the global arena can play a crucial role in the effort to prevent a nuclear Iran"

Foreign Minister Wang Yi:
"What is important now is for all the parties concerned, Iran included, to fully comply with their respective obligations and responsibilities"

"Peace needs to be won with hard work"


The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, and the Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi, met today at the President's Residence in Jerusalem and delivered joint statements to the press. During the meeting they discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and the strengthening of strategic relations between Israel and China. President Peres began the statements by welcoming his guest and said, "It is a pleasure and a privilege to have you here in Jerusalem. I thank you for the productive exchange we just had. Your visit here today represents the growing and strengthening relations between our two countries."


President Peres addressed the threat of a nuclear Iran and said, "Israel faces not only grave threats but also great opportunities. The threat of a nuclear Iran must be met. The chance for peace must not be ignored. Peace is the greatest chance, Iran the gravest problem. The world, in which China is a major player, should help the Iranian people to divorce themselves from the policies of threats and hostilities to prevent her from acquiring nuclear capability and serving as a center of terror. We prefer the diplomatic solution rather than military means. A united stand of the global community can bring peace and stability and relieve all of us from the dark clouds of terror and destruction. We must maintain the diplomatic pressure; ensure the sanctions regime remains effective to force Iran to comply with the inspections and limitations which the international community demands from them. We do not view the Iranian people as our enemy, our enemies are the policies and ideology driving the current Iranian regime."


President Peres also addressed the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and said, "While the efforts to prevent Iran from realizing its nuclear ambitions are at a crucial junction we also stand at a crossroads in the effort for peace. Peace is our greatest desire. We appreciate China's constructive support in the efforts to bring peace between us and the Palestinians, to bring peace to the Middle East and we thank you for it. As President Xi outlined in his address, two states must be the basis for the solution and can only be reached by negotiations between the two sides. Those negotiations are ongoing and the conclusion is agreed already. We must navigate the path to a successful conclusion. It is Israel and the Palestinians who must walk that path directly while enjoying the support of the international community. Your visit here and your clear support for peace strengthens those working for a peaceful solution. The people of Israel want peace, we want to live as good neighbors with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world."


Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the Iranian nuclear threat and said, "We talked about Iran and I told Mr. President that with joint efforts of the various parties, the P5+1 and Iran reached an important, also preliminary, agreement marking the first step towards the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. What is important now is for all the parties concerned, Iran included, to fully comply with their respective obligations and responsibilities prescribed in this deal and for all the parties to work together to uphold the international non-proliferation regime and for promoting peace in the Middle East region."


Foreign Minister Wang Yi reflected on President Peres' words on the peace process and said, "Just now he mentioned that the peace process in the Middle East has come to a crossroads and he shared with me his strong desire for peace in the Middle East and for peace between Israel and Palestine. We strongly support your desire for peace. Mr. President told us through his own experiences that peace needs to be made through taking initiative, it will not happen on its own." The Chinese Foreign Minister added that, "Peace needs to be won with hard work, rather than waiting, it won't happen on its own. I told the president that before I came here I went to the top of the Mount of Olives and saw the Old City. In these two kilometers I saw that it is home to a large number of holy sites of civilizations and religions. We hope and believe that the various religions and civilizations will be able to integrate rather than clash, learn from and exchange with each other rather than live in mutual estrangement. We believe this day will eventually come."

Photo Credit: Mark Neiman/GPO




President Peres:

"I want to express our profound thanks to your people for what they did during the Shoah…we shall never forget it, we consider it a historic act."


The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, hosted Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark for a meeting at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. The meeting came on the first day of the visit by the Crown Prince to Israel. The visit centers on the remembrance events to mark 70 years since the saving of the Jews of Denmark.


President Peres welcomed Crown Prince Frederik to Israel and said, "Let me express the appreciation of our people and of myself for your timely visit to our land and to Jerusalem. Denmark is an exemplary country in the world, a state based on peace, social justice and caring for people. I believe that's why you're admired. I want to express our profound thanks to your people for what they did during the Shoah. Among all other countries it was Denmark that made a supreme attempt to save the lives of the Jewish people in your country either by hiding them, defending them or shipping them to Sweden. Most of them were saved and we shall never forget it, we consider it a historic act. I would like to express my personal appreciation for your visit and I hope that the Queen will follow suit; in our days parents are following their children and we shall be delighted to host her here."


Crown Prince Frederik thanked President Peres and said, "Thank you very much Mr. President, I would like to extend my warmest wishes from my parents, Margrethe, Queen of Denmark and my father Prince Consul of Denmark. On a personal note it is fantastic to be in Israel and to visit so far the museum and to witness also the part that tells a positive story during World War II about Danish Jews being shipped and rescued on small boats across from the shores of eastern Denmark to Swedish shores, that was a very bold act of good Danish citizens who came from all walks of life and who did not hesitate to act when it was very necessary. For me this is something personal but today our two countries commemorate this. I will remember this visit for the rest of my life."



Photo Credit: Mark Neiman/GPO