Photos Silvia G. Golan
On Monday of this week (26.08.13), the Ukrainian Embassy held a reception in honor of its National day, celebrating 22 years of independence.
Ambassador Hennadii Nadolenko and Mrs. Nadolenko, received each guest personally with a warm handshake.
Among the distinguished guests were Israel's Minister of Immigration Absorption, Sofa Landver, Deputy Foreign Minister MK Zeev Elkin, members of the diplomatic staff of the foreign embassies in Israel and Israeli executives.
Boys and girls dressed in national costumes with flowers on their heads, received the guests in two rows, through which guests were led into the reception hall where they
were honored with the best of traditional Ukrainian beverages and delicacies.
Ambassador Hennadii Nadolenko opened the evening by welcoming all those present and praising the wonderful relationship developed between the two countries during the two decades since the establishment of the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel. The Ambassador noted that the Ukraine sees Israel as an important and genuine partner in the Middle East. He praised the bilateral cooperation between the countries in the cultural and economic sectors, and hopes to further develop and grow these areas of cooperation in the future.
Minister of Immigration Absorption, Sofa Landver, congratulated the Ukrainian government and its people on the occasion of its 22 years of independence. She noted that Israel and the Ukraine share a historical common heritage with half a million immigrants from the Ukraine living in Israel today. These individuals significantly contribute to Israel's economy, society and culture, and provide a human bridge between the two countries.
She noted that this year marks the twenty first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Ukraine. The two countries bilateral interests are broad and diverse, but also close and friendly. They include ties in the economic, commercial and cultural sectors, as well as in tourism and are supported by a long series of high ranking official visits on both sides. She also mentioned that the Visa Exemption Agreement, which was signed by the two countries in 2011 reflecting the trust and friendship between the two countries, led to a dramatic rise in the number of tourists and pilgrims visiting Israel. This is an impressive figure that hopefully will continue to rise.
The Minister wished the Ambassador: "Please give our very best wishes to the government and people of the Ukraine. We hope to continue our countries relationship and successful cooperation".
Shlomo Morgan, Minister of the Protocol Department, representing the Foreign Ministry of Israel, welcomed the Ambassador and the Ukrainian people. He noted that the cultural ties between the two countries are strong and close, finding their expression in the exchange of artists, exhibitions and many other activities. The Ukrainian Embassy operates a Ukrainian cultural center in the city of Bat Yam. Similarly, the Israeli Embassy in Kiev is very active in bringing to Ukraine the different facets of Israeli culture.
Israel also welcomes the cooperation between the two countries in the commercial and economic fields. He hopes that both sides will intensity their efforts to further expand this cooperation to tap the full potential in these important areas. He congratulated the government and the Ukrainian people, hoping that the friendship and cooperation between the countries will expand and flourish in the years to come.
During the event, Ukrainian and Israeli singers sang the anthems of the two countries. Guests who came to rejoice and celebrate with the Ukrainian people on this special day enthusiastically joined in the singing.
Among the guests who attended the event was Deputy Interior Minister and Secretary General of "Israel Beiteinu", Faina Kirshenbaum. Ms. Kirshenbaum recently visited the city of Uman in the Ukraine to closely monitor the preparations for the arrival of tens of thousands of Israeli Hassidim for Rosh Hashanah prayers at the holy grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov during this period.
Photos by Silvia Golan