President Reuven Rivlin met with Italian Minister for Education, Hon. Ms. Stefania Giannini, together with a delegation which included Italy's Ambassador to Israel H.E. Francesco Taló, and Italy's Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.
At the end of the meeting, the delegation presented the President with an Italian translation of the Talmud (Masechet Rosh Hashannah), which had been translated using a new software developed in cooperation between Israelis and Italians.
President Rivlin welcomed the Minister and all the delegation and said, "It is a pleasure to welcome you to Israel and to Jerusalem. You are here today on Jerusalem Day. Rome and Jerusalem go hand in hand after all these centuries as two of the world's greatest cities."
The President added, "You have brought with you a wonderful gift of the Talmud translated into Italian. The Talmud is the best example of how discussion and debate with respect, are the heart and soul of religion. As I said to the Pope when I visited him, we have no religious war with Islam or with any faith. We look around the complex situation in the region and we understand the danger of fundamentalism and religious extremism."
President Rivlin went on to reiterate the need for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in order to end the conflict.
Minister Giannini said, "It is a great honor and pleasure to be here with my delegation. I have had the opportunity to visit Israel before, but this time I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the importance of education in promoting coexistence, and we are here to reaffirm and to strengthen the cooperation between our two countries in this field".
She added, "Education is our best weapon against extremism and hatred," and stressed, "We are celebrating 15 years of our cooperation in science and education and we want to also make clear our stand against BDS. This is the strong and clear position of the Italian Government."