New ambassadors from Croatia, Switzerland, India, Belgium and the Holy See presented their credentials today (4 December 2012) to President Shimon Peres.
(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Peres met this morning (4 December 2012) with the new Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto at a formal ceremony at the President's Residence in Jerusalem in which five new ambassadors, among them Archbishop Lazzarotto, presented their Letters of Credence to President Peres. President Peres congratulated Archbishop Lazzarotto on his position and said, "I have the highest regard for His Holiness and I was glad to see that he started to Tweet. Today we have the best relationship between Israel and the Holy See in the last 2000 years. That is the main story and I hope those relations will continue to improve. We feel that the relationship now is deeper and wider than ever before, a relationship that looks to the future.
President Peres added that in Israel, "There is an attempt by the heads of the three religions to make peace, peace amongst the people not just the governments. It's a great contribution because religion has a spiritual impact upon people, which is no less important than material strength. It is peace that we need more than anything else, peace in faith and peace in our daily lives."
President Shimon Peres also welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Twitter with a special Tweet which read; "Your holiness, welcome to Twitter. Our relations with the Vatican are at their best and can form a basis to further peace everywhere."
Archbishop Lazzarotto said to President Peres, "I have the pleasure and honor to convey to your Excellency cordial greetings from His Holiness Pope Benedict. He sends cordial greetings to you and through you to the people of Israel. The important thing is to have goodwill and look for what we have in common, what unites us and always find a common way to walk together. We should work together for peace, for good understanding and for dialogue."
President Peres also accepted the credentials of four other ambassadors:
H.E. Mr. Pjer Šimunović, Ambassador of Croatia
H.E. Mr. Andreas Bau, Ambassador of Switzerland
H.E. Mr. Jaideep Sarkar, Ambassador of India
H.E. Count John Cornet d'Elzius, Ambassador of Belgium
President Peres wished the ambassadors success and said: "I welcome you to Israel. We will do all we can to help you in your mission of deepening relations between our countries. I am certain that you will make a real contribution in expanding the cooperation between us in many fields of endeavor."
The five new ambassadors thanked the president for the honor of serving in Israel and for the chance of contributing to the strengthening of relations and broadening cooperation with their countries. They noted the warm welcome welcome they have enjoyed since their arrival in Israel.