President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Tuesday), at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, received the diplomatic credentials of the new Ambassadors to Israel, from Australia, Mexico, Guinea, and Senegal. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, and - after the presentation of the credentials - the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva'.
First to present his credentials was Ambassador of Australia, H.E. Mr. Christopher Cannan. President Rivlin welcomed the Ambassador who was accompanied by his twin sons Alex and Nicholas (10). The President praised the good relations between the two peoples, and noted the importance of the shared history as well as the modern cooperation in innovation and technology. The President noted to the Ambassador his appreciation for Australia’s support for Israel. He added, “I hope you feel at home, and I know you will do all you can to strengthen the good friendship between our two peoples.” Ambassador Cannan thanked the President for the warm welcome and noted, "We have a very strong, positive, and important relationship between Australia and Israel and one that I think that is growing even stronger.”
Ambassador of Mexico, H.E Mr. Pablo Mcedo then presented his credentials to the President. President Rivlin welcomed him warmly and conveyed his regards to Mexico’s President, “We are looking forward for his visit to Israel,” and added, “We hope that the relationship we have held for the last 65 years will continue to be strong.” Ambassador Mcedo thanked the President, and noted the high regard with which the Jewish community was held in Mexico. He said, “The friendship between Mexico and Israel is long, strong and very solid. We have a very vibrant Jewish community in Mexico which plays a very impotrant role in our economy and many other sectors of our society.”
Ambassador of Guinea, H.E. Mr. Amara Camara - who will be a non-resident representative - then presented his credentials to the President, marking an end to 50 years without formal diplomatic relations between the two states. The President welcomed the renewal of relations and said, “Israel sees Africa as the future. Our relations with Africa in general, and your country in particular, are of great importance and we see a clear mutual interest in building these relations.” Ambassador Camara thanked the President and said, “The relationship between us was cut off for a long time, too long. A period which prevented us to learn from your experience.” He added, “I have followed the history of your people, you can be a light unto the nations.” The Ambassador stressed to the President that he was determined to advance the relationship between the two nations and said, “Guinea is open, and wants to partner, and crucially to be the axis through which Israel will reach the rest of Africa, for fruitful cooperation.”
Lastly, Ambassador of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Talla Fall – also non-resident – presented his credentials to the President, and spoke of the agriculture, and security cooperation between the two countries. He stressed the importance in the renewal of relations following the crisis between the countries as a result of UNSC Resolution 2334. “I come as the Ambassador of Senegal, and as a true friend. Israel was the first country to recognize Senegal’s independence, and since then we have had good relations,” said the Ambassador and added, “In 1961, as we celebrated our first independence day, Israel honored us with a great delegation – not perhaps in size, but in the people who led it, including the late Prime Minister Yitzkah Rabin.”
Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)