Swaziland Prime Minister Plants Tree in Grove of Nations.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“Israel is a good friend of our country, and we cooperate in many fields,” said Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Prime Minister of Swaziland, during an olive tree planting ceremony at the Grove of the Nations in Jerusalem.
The Grove of the Nations in Jerusalem, established by KKL-JNF, symbolizes peace between nations and solidarity with the state of Israel and the Jewish people. Heads of states from all over the world plant an olive tree there on behalf of their countries during their visits to Israel, and the King of Swaziland was the 89th leader to participate in planting.
“Planting an olive tree symbolizes peace, and we indeed aspire to maintain bonds of peace and good relations with all the countries of the worlds,” said Prime Minister Dlamini in his speech.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is located in the southern part of the African continent and borders on South Africa in the north, south and west, and Mozambique in the east. It has a population of 1.2 million people, and most of its inhabitants live in villages.
Matityahu Sperber, Chairman of the board of Hemanutah Ltd, said: “Many delegations plant trees in the Grove of Nations, but today is truly a special day. The tree that we are planting symbolizes the friendship between us in the past, present and future. We will continue to strengthen the bond between our peoples and countries.”
The ceremony was facilitated by Karine Bolton-Laor, Director of the KKL-JNF International Cooperation and Conferences Department. She told the guests about how KKL-JNF has been developing Israel for the past 115 years. “KKL-JNF is committed to creating a better future,” she declared. She mentioned the agricultural development programs that KKL-JNF is carrying out in partnership with several African countries, and added: “I hope that Swaziland will become our new friend.”
Swaziland is named for the King Mswati the Second, who ruled over it during the 1840s. Under his leadership, the country successfully expanded its territory and stabilized its borders. The country is a monarchy, and Swaziland has undergone democratic reforms over the past years.
HE Promise Msibi, the ambassador of Swaziland to Israel, and HE Arthur Lenk, the Israeli ambassador to Swaziland, recited the Planter’s Prayer in English and Hebrew.
“I am glad that your prayer for rain was immediately answered,” Ambassador Lenk said with a smile to his colleague, Ambassador Msibi, as the pouring rain watered the trees of the forest grove.
After the greetings and the prayers, the auspicious moment arrived: the planting of the olive tree.
“We hope that our visit here and planting the tree will ensure continued friendship, partnership and mutual support between us,” Prime Minister Dlamini concluded.
Watch video of tree planting ceremony in Jerusalem with the PM of Swaziland