President Reuven Rivlin delivers remarks at a state dinner in Madrid, Spain, November 6, 2017..
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Spain for us is one country, and His Majesty the King is the symbol of that unity,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday evening during his visit to Spain.
Rivlin and First Lady Nechama were guests of honor at a state dinner at the Royal Palace in Madrid, hosted by Spanish King Felipe and Queen Letizia.
Referring to the ongoing push for Catalan independence, Rivlin said: “All of the citizens of Spain are dear to us and we hope and pray that all conflicts will be solved by peaceful measures.”
Rivlin’s visit to Spain marks both 30 years of diplomatic relations between the countries and 100 years since the reestablishment of the Jewish community in Spain, more than 400 years after Spanish Jewry was expelled in 1492.
“In the now 31 years of our diplomatic relations, strong and broad bilateral relations have been established, encompassing a wide range of fields... Our current visit is an expression of our mutual commitment to the strong ties between our countries,” said Rivlin.
Concluding his remarks in Ladino
, an endangered Judeo-Spanish language, Rivlin added: “Our common path has a glorious past, and a future that can be as exciting, fascinating, and glorious. May God grant us life so that we may see wonders.”
King Felipe, welcomed his Israeli guests in Hebrew. He praised the links between the two countries and the approval of a Spanish law granting citizenship to Jews of Spanish origin.
“Mr. President,” Felipe added, “We know that great aspirations are accompanied by great challenges. We recognize Israel’s legitimate aspirations for peace and security and hope that your country will live in harmony with its neighbors and develop its ties with the European Union. Israel will find in Spain a partner, an ally, a faithful and committed friend.”
On Tuesday, Rivlin will address a special plenary of the Senate and Congress at Spain's parliament and hold a working meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.