Israel’s President Rivlin and PM Benjamin Netanyahu meet with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

September 4, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Foreign Minister of Australia Julie Bishop has met Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.President Rivlin welcomed Foreign Minister Bishop and said, “Welcome to the State of Israel and to Jerusalem. I want to say to you as one of the leaders of your people who the connection between us – Australians and Israelis – is very important for us in Israel. We appreciate the friendship between our peoples, between our two states, and your friendship with the people of Israel.”

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets Israel's President even Rivlin

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets Israel’s President even Rivlin Photo: Mark Neiman / GPO

“We are facing many problems,” said the President, and went on to stress the importance of the cooperation between Israel and Australia in the fields of innovation and cyber security, among others. “We are cooperating greatly on issues that are of concern to the whole free world,” he added.

He noted the contribution of Australia in the region, and spoke of the importance of the Anzac Centenary. He said, “We as Israelis remember the Australian servicemen, who helped the Jewish people return to their homeland, along with the necessity to cooperate with all of the people living here.”

The President stressed, “We are trying to do all we can to renew the negotiations between us and the Palestinians. Unfortunately the Palestinians are looking for other arenas to debate with us in the international arena.”

The President emphasized the importance of the growing bilateral relations between the two countries. President Rivlin added that he hoped to be able to rearrange his previously postponed visit to Australia for the near future.

Foreign Minister Bishop thanked the President for his warm welcome and stressed, “I am delighted to visit again, and return as Foreign Minister. This is an opportunity for me to ensure that this relationship is not taken for granted, that this relationship will continue to be nurtured by both sides, and that it will continue to flourish based on common values. It is a friendship which must endure as like-minded countries facing so many challenges in a deeply troubled world.”

The Foreign Minister noted that Australia was committed to standing up for Israel in multilateral fora when there were “obviously biased, discriminatory and unfair resolutions put forward.”

She noted the important role of the Australian Jewish community, and said, “There are around 120,000 in the Australian Jewish community, and they add so much to the richness of the fabric of Australian society.”

Juie Bishop and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Juie Bishop and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Foreign Minister Bishop concluded by stressing the importance of the cooperation and bilateral partnerships,  she said, “Our relationship has the potential to enter into new fields of endeavor particularly in innovation where Israel is a world leader, and we are delighted that there will be a ‘landing pad’ in Tel Aviv, which shows we have much to learn from one

Julie Bishop visited expressed "sentiments of deep sorrow and pain." In the background are Australia's ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma and Isrel's ambassador to Australia Shmuel Ben-Shmuel Pic: Twitter

Julie Bishop visited expressed “sentiments of deep sorrow and pain.” In the background are Australia’s ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma and Isrel’s ambassador to Australia Shmuel Ben-Shmuel Pic: Twitter

another.” She noted that on this and many other issues, “Israel and Australia will continue to work together”.

The two went on to discuss a wide range of issues including stability in the region, the peace process, and other global challenges.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Julie Bishop

at the start of their meeting, “I just want to greet you and say that your friendship is terrific – Australia, the government’s and yours personally. And we appreciate our friends.”

Australian Foreign Minister Bishop invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit Australia: “I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the State of Israel and our friendship, and invite you to come to Australia. And we’re thinking there’s a little window of opportunity early next year maybe? And the Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you and we would look forward to the first visit of an Israeli prime minister ever to Australia.”

Minister Bishop toured the Holocaust History Museum, which tells the story of the Holocaust accompanied by hundreds of personal accounts and artifacts Photo: Twitter

Minister Bishop toured the Holocaust History Museum, which tells the story of the Holocaust accompanied by hundreds of personal accounts and artifacts Photo: Twitter

Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the invitation.

Julie Bishop also visited Yad Vashem which twittered :” Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Yad Vashem. The Foreign Minister toured the Holocaust History Museum, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and visited the Children’s Memorial.

Minister Bishop expressed her “sentiments of deep sorrow and pain as well as an identification with the Jewish people regarding the tragic events of the Holocaust.” “Australia will never forget those who suffered at the hands of this evil brutality,” she wrote in the Yad Vashem Guest Book. “Yad Vashem reminds us that however troubled our world may be, the forces for good must prevail for our common humanity.”

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