President Rivlin receives President Kiska of Slovakia at official welcoming ceremony
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Wednesday) hosted an official welcoming ceremony for President of Slovakia H.E. Andrej Kiska, marking his official visit to the State of Israel. President Rivlin received President Kiska on the red carpet before the national anthems were played, after which both Presidents reviewed an honor guard and delivered brief statements.
President Rivlin began by welcoming President Kiska and his delegation, and said, “Your arrival here is a sign of the close friendship between Israel and Slovakia, and of the importance of this relationship”. He noted, “We admire your ongoing leadership, and strong stand against fascism, and anti-Semitism. We appreciate your commitment to the right of Israel to exist in peace and security.”
President Rivlin continued, “Israel stands committed and dedicated to finding a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. We have growing relations with so many partners in the Muslim and Arab world, and together we are working for stability, and a better future for all the peoples of this region.” He said, “Our answer to those who want a religious war, is "no". Our answer to those who carry out terror attacks, is "no". And our answer to all those who spread hatred and racism against peoples, is "never again". This is our commitment and our duty.”
President Rivlin noted that Israel was a small country but with great technological ability, and said, “Mr. President, cooperation, and mutual understanding is the key to the future. We have much to discuss, and much more to promote together.”
President Kiska thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “It is my first visit in your beautiful country, and the first State Visit of a President of Slovakia since 2000. Israel is a friend of Slovakia. Israel is an important partner for our country. Your country is an inspiration for us in many ways. We came here to learn but also share.”
President Kiska went on to say, “I am really impressed by so many bright, talented, open minded, wholehearted, and happy people I have met so far. I am impressed by seeing that how you really are a Start-Up Nation, thanks to hard work and enthusiasm, seeing challenges as opportunities, blessed with the best conditions for world class science, research and innovations, modern education system, and experts in security. There is really so much to do together. We wish to further develop our good relations, to connect our scientists, entrepreneurs, and academics.”
He went on to say that, “Slovakia and Israel are bound by many successes but we are here also to remind ourselves of dark days in Slovak history. To remember the horrors of the Holocaust, and to remember more than 70,000 victims, men women and children from Slovakia. Today more than ever before, we must do all necessary to prevent hatred, extremism, fascism, and anti-Semitism from spreading again in Europe and elsewhere.”
President Kiska concluded by saying, “I am looking forward to our discussion, to learn more about the situation in Israel, about prospects of the peace process, and the overall situation in the region.”
The two Presidents went on to hold an in-depth and extended working meeting, during which they discussed ways to strengthen the close ties between the two nations. Later this evening, a State Dinner was due to be held at the President’s Residence in honor of the Slovakian President’s visit.