Nides to present credentials Sunday, EU ambassador on Monday

After three months, Dimiter Tzantchev, the head of the European Union delegation in Israel, will present his credentials to the president, followed one day later by US ambassador designate Tom Nides.

European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)
European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)

Dimiter Tzantchev, who heads the European Union delegation in Israel, will present his credentials to President Isaac Herzog on Monday.

Tzantchev arrived in Israel before Rosh Hashana, but until he presents his credentials is regarded as the ambassador designate, which has limited his activities.

However, he has still managed to visit the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, to participate in international events such as those dedicated to eliminating violence against women, and he  joined in the lighting of Hanukkah candles in Bnei Brak.

This is his second posting to Israel. The first in 2013, was as ambassador of Bulgaria.

Swiss ambassador-designate Urs Bucher has been in Israel even longer than Tzantchev, having come ahead of his president Guy Parmelin, who visited Israel toward the end of October. Also presenting credentials on Monday are ambassadors-designate James Gatera of Rwanda and Sergio Barbanti of Italy, who have all been in Israel longer than US ambassador designate Tom Nides, who is presenting his credentials to Herzog on Sunday.

 US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

It is extremely rare for two credential presentation ceremonies to take place in the same week, let alone on two consecutive days.

But a new flock of envoys has arrived in Israel, and it is imperative that they present their letters of credence before the arrival of another group of ambassadors, otherwise it would be extremely difficult to deal with the backlog.

After Monday’s ceremony, another is scheduled for December 16. Herzog previously accepted credentials in mid-September when he welcomed the ambassadors of Bahrain, Mexico, Spain, Estonia, Greece and the Vatican.  

This was more than usual. Generally, the number of ambassadors veers between four and five, and individual ceremonies take up a whole morning.

Each ambassador presents his or her credentials separately, then introduces senior members of the embassy, and, if accompanied by spouse, children or parents, introduces them, and is subsequently led by the president to a smaller reception room for a friendly chat, during which the new ambassador may convey an invitation from his or her president for Herzog to pay a state visit to his or her country.