Peres and the Prince: Spanish royalty visits Israel

Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia commemorate 25 years of diplomatic ties at Beit Hanassi, encourage technological cooperation.

prince felipe princess letizia peres 311 (photo credit: Moshe Milner / GPO)
prince felipe princess letizia peres 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner / GPO)
Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain visited President Shimon Peres at Beit Hanassi on Monday.
The prince and princess visited Israel to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This is Prince Felipe's first visit to Israel, which comes after Peres' visit with the King Juan Carlos of Spain in February.
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The visiting royals were greeted by an IDF orchestra as well as children who had made aliyah from Spain, that held Israeli and Spanish flags.
They then attended a meeting with Peres and Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiminez.
"Israel welcomes you and hopes that your historic visit will help strengthen economic, scientific, technological, educational and cultural ties between Spain and Israel," Peres told the prince. "I would like to thank your father, the King of Spain, and Queen Sophia, for the warm welcome I received in Spain. King Juan Carlos bravely succeeded to lead Spain to democracy after Franco, strengthening Spain and turning it into an open, peace-loving country."
Prince Felipe said that Spain is very interested in the technological cooperation with Israel, and plans to promote this partnership by visiting Tel Aviv University later Monday.
He also asked Peres about the possibility of renewed peace talks with the Palestinians.
"The gap between Israel and the Palestinians is not large and called be bridged," Peres said. "There is no replacement for direct negotiations in order to promote the idea of two states for two nations."
Before leaving Israel on Tuesday, the royals will attend a breakfast hosted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after which they will be given a tour of the Israel Museum by Chief Curator Yigal Zalmona. At lunch time they will meet with dignitaries of the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah.