Itongadol.- President of Israel Reuven Rivlin will on Sunday evening (10 May) depart for a state visit of Germany at the invitation of German President Joachim Gauck, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.
President Rivlin on state visit to Germany 50 years of diplomatic relations
As preparations for the visit drew to a close, President Rivlin said, "My visit to Germany is for me both emotional and deeply significant. Together with the people of Germany, we will mark a long journey – a journey which has brought us from the unforgettable horrors of the past, to the shared values of the present, and with cooperation and friendship, will lead us to a promising future.
I have no doubt that my meetings with the German President, Chancellor, and senior government officials will help deepen the cooperation between our two peoples and governments. It is important to remember that our friendship is in no way compensation for the Holocaust. It is built on a basis of shared values, after Germany accepted upon itself responsibility for that dark period. Today, we are thriving, with the values of democracy and freedom of expression, having been able to learn the lessons of the past."
Relations between Israel and Germany were established gradually, and began with the signing of the Reparations Agreement in 1952. After the development of relations on an economic level, political relations were officially established between West Germany and Israel in 1965. Over the years there has been a significant strengthening of bilateral relations between the countries, and the forging of close cooperation in the political, security, economic, and cultural fields.
During the course of the visit, President Rivlin will deliver a special address marking the jubilee of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany; meet with President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merke, President (Speaker) of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; and lay a wreath at the Platform 17 memorial to the Jews of Berlin murdered in the Holocaust. He will be the guest of honor at a celebratory concert of the Berlin Philharmonic, meet with young Israelis and Germans involved in partnership projects, and meet with German students at Kiel University. President Rivlin will also meet with participants of the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation, and hear from them about different ways to conserve and strengthen bilateral relations, and examine the history of relations between the two countries.