(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Even the best of friends can agree to disagree, President Reuven Rivlin told diplomats serving in the US and Canada at a meeting at his residence on Sunday.
While acknowledging that the United States and Canada are among Israel’s closest allies, Rivlin noted that sometimes working with friendly nations poses greater challenges than working with nations known to be hostile or indifferent.
When working with friends, there are often unexpected areas of dispute, he said, and then the task of the diplomat is to make sure that disagreements do not negatively impact on the relationship.
Rivlin cited as examples Iran’s nuclear program and the Palestinian peace process, in which Israel and the United States do not see eye to eye as to how to resolve the problems of a nuclear Iran or the concessions that Israel should make in the quest for an end to the conflict with the Palestinians.
The president emphasized that Israel’s relations with the US and Canada are nonpartisan. Israel’s friendship with both countries is based on common values, he said, and not on party preferences.
“We don’t always agree with our friends on possible solutions to our problems, but such disagreements should not be allowed to hamper the friendship,” he said.