Morocco’s official envoy to Israel was the guest of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who received many members of the foreign diplomatic corps at his residence in Jerusalem, as is usual every year on the occasion of Independence Day. This is the first time that Morocco is represented diplomatically on this occasion, after normalizing its relations with the Hebrew state late last year.
In addition to the Moroccan envoy, the reception was also attended by the United Arab Emirates envoy, who is also attending the occasion for the first time after the Gulf state recently normalized its relations with Israel. Moreover, there were the ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt, who had avoided attending the event in recent years, although they were among the first countries to normalize their relations with Israel many years ago.
On this occasion, the Israeli president stated that he had always found “great friendship and appreciation for Israel” in his travels around the world as president, and “a salute to its thriving democracy, cultural diversity and innovation,” according to what The Israeli Channel 12 News quoted him as saying. Rivlin, whose presidential duties end this summer, added to the audience, “on this Independence Day, we also celebrate the new spirit of peace that is spreading in the Middle East,” referring to the normalization with a number of Arab countries that Israel has initiated as part of the Abraham Accords. At the same time, he said, international cooperation is now more important than ever, at a time when the world is trying to stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic through global vaccination campaigns.
Rivlin also said, referring to Israel’s 73-year history: “As a child, I grew up at a time when we did not have a country. For me, the existence of Israel was not taken for granted. For today’s young generation, the strong, innovative, prosperous, pioneering and happy State of Israel is a reality. However, our internal construction and work on our nation and society is not yet complete.”