PRESIDENT REUVEN RIVLIN (R) speaks with Ambassador Promise Msibi of Swaziland in the capital..
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin received the credentials of new envoys in Jerusalem for the first time on Thursday.
He had been scheduled to receive the credentials of ambassadors Paata Kalandadze of Georgia, Edminas Bagdonas of Lithuania, Shigeo Matsutomi of Japan, Jonathan Andrew Curr of New Zealand, and Promise Msibi of Swaziland.
However, permission for Curr to serve as ambassador to Israel was revoked by the Foreign Ministry when it was discovered that he was also going to be accredited to the Palestinian Authority.
The president greeted Kalandadze, saying “I welcome you back home,” as the Georgian ambassador previously served in other capacities in Israel.
Rivlin, whose ancestors hail from Lithuania, was particularly pleased to welcome Bagdonas.
Both men agreed that the history of Jews in Lithuania had its glory days and its days of shame, in which Bagdonas said “terrible and unacceptable things were done during the Holocaust.”
Many programs have been introduced in Lithuania to ensure that future generations do not forget the atrocities of the Holocaust, the ambassador said, adding that next week Lithuania will commemorate the destruction of the Vilna Ghetto.
Rivlin thanked Matsutomi for the efforts that have been made by the Japanese government to bring peace to the Middle East.
Relating to cooperation with Japan, Rivlin said that when he was there as communications minister, he had gone thinking that Israel was doing wonderful things in the field of communications.
But after seeing what the Japanese are doing “I realized that Israel is just making a lot of effort,” he said.
Msibi, who is a non-resident ambassador, is also Swaziland’s ambassador to Ethiopia. He is also his country’s permanent representative to the African Union Commission.
Msibi also brought greetings from King Mswati III, who is scheduled to visit Israel early next year, and said that the king sent his condolences for the loss of life from terrorist attacks.
“Israel has the right to exist and that right goes hand in hand with Israel’s right to defend itself,” he said.