Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday morning met Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
“Your connection with Jerusalem is something that goes to the roots of the Bible, and the connection between our people is not a matter of years, it is a matter of centuries, back to the visit of the Queen of Sheba,” Rivlin said. “We know you attended the funeral of the late Shimon Peres and we remember that and appreciate it very much.”
“We are very anxious to get back to the connection that we have had with Africa, and we ask you to be our sponsors in Africa in order to let us be once again able to attend all the meetings and conferences of Africa, because when we are looking to the future, and to the next decade, we know that Africa is the place.
“We have a great community of people who came from Ethiopia living here in Israel; among them are generals, doctors, pilots, ambassadors, part of the Israeli environment and experience.
“Despite of all the problems we have, together and alone, we can solve these problems and look to the future with hope.”
Dessalegn thanked Rivlin for the warm welcome he and his delegation had received at the President’s Residence and in Israel.
“We have to cherish and deepen our relationship based on our longstanding relationship,” he said. “We have many things in common, and Ethiopians deeply understand and appreciate Israel and its people, we always have Israel in our heart for many reasons.”
“The African Israel relationship truly is a gateway, we will do everything at our disposal to make the Israeli Africa relationship to grow and Ethiopia will take leadership in this regard. We know the need for the Africa Israeli relationship to deepen.
“I came to express our deep understanding, and bring our relationship to the next level. We have a lot of desire to benefit from Israeli science and technology, and harness the potential, we can benefit from your support in this regard. We have to fight terrorism, extremism, climate change, which are common problems to all of us.”
Dessalegn also thanke Rivlin for Israel’s support of the election of Ethiopia’s former Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as the new Director General of the WHO.
“He is a great personality, and we are very proud to support his election. The whole world must be proud that he was elected chair of the organization,” Rivlin responded.