President Rivlin off to Europe for talks

March 16, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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President of Israel Reuven Rivlin has left Israel on a short visit to Europe to hold a series of meetings in Berlin, Vienna and Paris.

President Rivlin board his aircraft    Photo: Amos Ben Gershom (GPO)

The president will be accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi who will brief the European presidents on security matters.

Speaking about the visit, the president said, “This important diplomatic visit I am taking, together with the Chief of Staff, is highly significant at this time. Europe is showing an extraordinary commitment to the security of the State of Israel and to preserving the stability of the Middle East and we appreciate it deeply. There is currently an opening of hope that moderate voices in our area will strengthen and we will do everything possible to allow those voices to be heard. But at the same time, extremist voices – especially Iran – are threatening to undermine this stability. It is important to ensure that the international community is ready, determined and uncompromising, to oppose Iran’s nuclear plans and its support for terrorist organizations that threaten Israel and regional security. My agenda for this trip also includes the misuse of the International Criminal Court against our soldiers and citizens. Our soldiers are part of us, our children and grandchildren, and we trust our European friends will stand with us on this important issue.”

The president begins his visit today, with a working meeting with President of Germany Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Schloss Bellvue, the presidential palace, in Berlin, after which two presidents will give joint statements to the press. Later in the day, the president will meet German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the president will travel to Vienna where he will be welcomed in an official reception ceremony at the Hofburg, the Austrian presidential palace, in Vienna. After the ceremony, the president will hold a working meeting with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen. President Rivlin and President Van der Bellen will then deliver remarks at a memorial ceremony for victims of the Holocaust at the monument to the memory of Austrian Jews.

On the morning of the last day of his visit, Thursday, the president will hold a working meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the Palais de l’Elysée, the French presidential palace, in Paris, before returning to Israel.

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