TEL AVIV —‘’The EU and European states can and should play a major role in a broad international effort to invest in Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation and joint ventures,’’ said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a reception on Wednesday in honor of Europe Day held at the Eurovision Village in Tel Aviv.
EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai and other ambassadors of European countries also attended the event.
President Rivlin offered his congratulations for Europe Day, saying “we are currently hosting here in Israel one of the best examples of European integration and friendship – the Eurovision Song Contest.’’ He added, ‘’ This year’s theme, ‘Dare to Dream’, could equally easily be the motto on the EU’s flag. It is only natural that the EU and Israel are partners and allies. Both of us are the result of dreams that became reality, thanks to the determination and courage of their founders. We also share the values of democracy, diversity and human rights.”
“Despite these natural links, we do not take our flourishing relations for granted,” the president added, noting the range of cooperation between Israel and the EU in the field of science through the Horizon 2020 program, in cyber-security and counter-terrorism, R&D centers and the Open Skies agreement, saying
“We can do even more together. Political considerations should not stand in the way of cooperation,” the Israeli president stressed.
The president also said, “I believe that we in the Middle East need to learn from the experience of the European Union which succeeded because it was established on the basis of economic cooperation and mutual obligation. By creating a shared economy and bringing people together through trade, the EU created a solid basis for durable peace. We all dream of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between all the peoples of the Middle East. If we want to realize this dream, we should take a similar approach.’’