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President Reuven Rivlin meets with the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa Photo by Mark Neiman (GPO)
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President Reuven Rivlin meets with the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa

11 June 2017

President Reuven Rivlin meets with the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

 

President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Sunday), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, met with the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, who is visiting Israel for the first time.

 

President Rivlin welcomed him on his arrival to Israel and to its capital Jerusalem, and noted the cooperation between their countries. “Your visit here is a unique opportunity to host a true friend of Israel. Allow me to thank you personally for your firm and ongoing dedication to the friendship between our states. The relationship between us is not just a matter of words, but also of deeds. Israel is proud that our water technologies are helping supply clean drinking water to people in Nauru. Our devoted nephrologist, Dr. Yanai, who led to medical delegations to Nauru, represents Israel’s commitment to your well-being and prosperity.”

 

Noting his guest’s participation the UN Ocean Conference the President said, “Together with Nauru, Israel sees the global struggle against climate change as a top priority. Our Minister for Environmental Protection, Zeev Elkin, also participated at the conference. This is a sign of our commitment to the issue of the raising sea level and our commitment to you, our dear friends.” The President added, “We believe that more than the Earth belongs to us, we belong to the Earth, and we must do all we can to care for it, for our children and grandchildren. Only if we work together can we succeed. I hope we will safeguard this friendship and the cooperation between us for many years to come.”

 

President Waqa thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “We have travelled a long way from Nauru, but I am very pleased to be here. I want to show our solidarity to Israel and the people of Israel.” He added, “In the middle of the oceans, is the island of Nauru, a small community, a Christian community, who very much believe in Israel. We support Israel and we will continue to support Israel. As long as we protect our existence, in a time when climate change is effecting the whole world, I know that with God’s help our friendship will continue to prosper even under such circumstances.”

 

He added, “Thank you for the cooperation and for your help for Nauru over the years in the fields of medicine and water purification. We hope we will be able to advance to the next stage, and show our support for you in international fora. I know that you need much support at the UN, and we have close friendships in the Pacific, and we will work to encourage them to support Israel.”

 

The President of Nauru extended President Rivlin an invitation to visit his region and said this would greatly help strengthen the bonds between Israel and the islands of the Pacific.

 

President Waqa concluded by saying, “Israel is in our hearts and we appreciate you. You have excellent technology and we want to learn from you, and we are looking forward to strengthening the cooperation between us.” He noted that the flag of Nauru had a 12 pointed star, and that represented the 12 tribes of Nauru, similar to the 12 tribes of Israel, of which his country was very proud.