Thai princess tells Peres: 'I feel Israeli in my heart'

Chulabhorn Mahidol in Israel to promote bilateral cooperation in science research, gets lightly injured in car crash prior to meeting.

thai princess and peres_311 (photo credit: Mark Neyman / GPO)
thai princess and peres_311
(photo credit: Mark Neyman / GPO)
The Princess of Thailand, Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol met with President Shimon Peres on Monday in his office in Jerusalem, where she expressed her fondness for Israel.
Mahidol told Peres, "In my heart I feel half Israeli. I think like an Israeli. I visited here for the first time in the 1970s, and since then I keep looking for opportunities to return."
RELATED:Israel, Thailand sign deal for foreign workers’ rights
The princess said that she even added an Israeli name to her name, Tzila, and that is how she referred to herself when she signed the president's guest book.
Peres, in response, told the princess that, "Israelis like Thailand. Each year tens of thousands of Israeli travelers visit your country and fall in live with it and with the Thai people."
The princess, the youngest daughter of the Thai King, is a doctor of science, a lecturer in chemistry, and is deeply involved in scientific research in her country where she heads the Institute of Cancer Research.
Mahidol arrived in Israel to promote bilateral cooperation in science. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed technological, brain, and cancer research, and the president updated her on a series of Israeli developments in various fields. A statement released by the president's office noted that Thailand and Israel are in the advanced stages of negotiating an industrial research and development treaty.
Prior to the meeting Monday, the princess was involved in a traffic accident near the Jerusalem International Convention Center while on her way to meet with Peres.
She was lightly injured in the accident and was transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. Doctor's recommended she remain at the hospital for testing, but she insisted on going to meet the president.