Togolese FM Robert Dussey (right) plants a carob tree in the Jerusalem Hills.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN KKL-JNF)
On Monday, June 11, 2018, Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey planted a carob tree with KKL-JNF at the VIP tree planting site at the Kennedy Memorial in the Jerusalem Hills, as an expression of friendship with the state of Israel.
“It is wonderful to be out here in the forest at the end of an intensive day”, said Foreign Minister of Togo, Robert Dussey, when he arrived with his delegation at the VIP tree planting site at the Kennedy Memorial
just outside Jerusalem. They had just come from a visit to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Also on their agenda that day was a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and various other government officials.
Elisha Mizrahi of KKL-JNF's Public Relations Department was onsite to welcome the visitors. He explained to them the role of KKL-JNF in Israel
and told them that all the trees they see in the surrounding hills were planted by hand.
The Togolese foreign minister, who is also a professor of political philosophy, said that he was thrilled to be attending a tree planting ceremony in Jerusalem.
“I am very happy to be here with you. I too have symbolic colors in my life, and the most powerful is green, like the color of the forest around us. For me, green symbolizes hope and the hope that I will return to Jerusalem many more times. In fact, each time I come I will visit the tree that I am going to plant today.”
The Togolese minister was then invited to plant his own tree.
Once it was standing firmly in the ground, he gave the sapling its first watering. With his other hand, he touched the Togolese flag next to the freshly planted tree, and said: “May this carob tree grow strong and represent Togo in Israel forever.”