New Egypt en­voy: We’re com­mit­ted to peace

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By GREER FAY CASH­MAN

The strains of the na­tional an­thems of Jor­dan and Egypt rang out on Thurs­day from the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the pres­i­dent of Is­rael.

The oc­ca­sion was the pre­sen­ta­tion of let­ters of cre­dence by Jor­da­nian am­bas­sador Ghas­sen Ma­jali and Egyp­tian am­bas­sador Khaled Azmi who were each greeted ef­fu­sively in Ara­bic by Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin.

In his wel­come to Ma­jali, Rivlin said that it gave him a lot of plea­sure and sat­is­fac­tion to wel­come the am­bas­sador of Jor­dan, the coun­try with which Is­rael has the longest bor­der.

“We are not only two peo­ples, we are neigh­bors who breathe the same air and drink the same wa­ter,” Rivlin said. There are many projects that Is­rael and Jor­dan can work on to­gether to bring pros­per­ity to the whole re­gion, he said, adding, “We have to find eco­nomic ad­van­tages that we can achieve to­gether.” Rivlin re­ferred to the Dead Sea area and the Jor­dan River, and said he could vi­su­al­ize the day when such joint projects would bring mil­lions of tourists to both Jor­dan and Is­rael.

Rivlin said he was also cer­tain that Ma­jali can in­crease aware­ness for the re­gion that the Jor­dan Val­ley is a mi­cro­cosm for en­abling peo­ple to live in peace and bring an end to ha­tred and hos­til­ity.

Ma­jali said the re­sump­tion of the peace process and a sov­er­eign Pales­tinian state liv­ing in peace along­side Is­rael were pri­or­i­ties for Jor­dan. He later wrote in the guest book, “May peace and pros­per­ity pre­vail for our peo­ple.”

Fol­low­ing re­marks by Rivlin about 40 years of peace with Egypt and Pres­i­dent An­war Sa­dat’s visit to Jerusalem, Rivlin noted that Azmi is Egypt’s sev­enth am­bas­sador to Is­rael.

Azmi re­sponded that the sign­ing of a peace agree­ment was the vi­sion of a great states­man that led to the paving of peace in the re­gion. He pledged that Egypt will con­tinue to work to­ward peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion, serve as a role model of tol­er­ance and ac­cep­tance, and con­tinue its ef­forts to bring to an end the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict.

Rivlin lauded Egypt as be­ing im­por­tant to the sta­bil­ity of the re­gion in which both coun­tries are fac­ing so many chal­lenges, in­clud­ing fun­da­men­tal­ism. Re­lat­ing to the more than 40 years since Sa­dat’s visit, Rivlin em­pha­sized the sig­nif­i­cance of na­tions com­mu­ni­cat­ing peace­fully.

With­out the in­ter­ven­tion of Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah el-Sisi, he said, re­lat­ing to Gaza, “we would find our­selves in a dis­as­trous sit­u­a­tion – even a war.”

Other am­bas­sadors who pre­sented cre­den­tials were: Dr. Ve­sela Mr­dan Ko­rac of Croa­tia, Martin Strop­nicky of the Czech Repub­lic just in time for the visit of his pres­i­dent to Is­rael later this month, and Bold Rav­dan, the non-res­i­dent am­bas­sador of Mon­go­lia, who is based in Ankara, but who said that his coun­try was in­ter­ested in open­ing an em­bassy in Is­rael. He de­clared that al­though Is­rael is small in size, it is huge in achieve­ments.

There had been no Croa­t­ian Am­bas­sador to Is­rael since the de­par­ture of Pjer Simunovic in April 2016, when he was re­called due to a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis. He is cur­rently Croa­tia’s am­bas­sador to the US. Rivlin was pleased to meet the ar­tic­u­late Ko­rac to whom he voiced Is­rael’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Croa­tia’s sup­port for Is­rael in pub­lic fo­rums. He also ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the warm re­cep­tion and hos­pi­tal­ity that he had re­ceived in Croa­tia when he vis­ited last July, adding that he looked for­ward to re­cip­ro­cat­ing when Pres­i­dent Kolinda Grabar-Ki­tarovic vis­its Is­rael next year.

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