Address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon




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Address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Welcoming Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

June 1, 2004

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia,


I would like to welcome you and the honored entourage, which accompanied you to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people and the united capital of the State of Israel.

This is the first official visit to Israel of an Ethiopian Prime Minister and I wish to express my appreciation to you for your friendship with Israel and your actions to advance relations between our countries.


Mr. Prime Minister,
There are only a few countries of which the diplomatic relations have such deep historic and ancient roots. From the time of the Queen of Sheba’s famous visit to King Solomon here in Jerusalem, the ancient legacy of both our peoples has constituted a sound basis for our relations.
The splendid community of Ethiopian Jews in Israel - of which I had the privilege of helping in their immigration and absorption into the State of Israel – serves as a vital and active cultural bridge between our countries. I am confident that the existence of this community will help to further cement the ties between our countries in the future.
Mr. Prime Minister,
The relations between Ethiopia and Israel encompass cooperation in many fields: foreign policy, culture, economy, science, agriculture and security.

There is great potential in the relations between our countries and we therefore attribute great importance in advancing them. We wish to expand economic cooperation between our countries, and I know that many Israeli business people show increasing interest in the Ethiopian market.


Israel wants to help and is ready to be helped. We wish to be taught and would be pleased to teach and share our know-how.
I have no doubt that your visit to Israel will constitute a new zenith in the relations between Israel and Ethiopia and will contribute to their advancement and strengthening, and I intend to invest efforts to achieve this goal.
Mr. Prime Minister,
I do not think that there are many leaders in the world who know your country’s magnificent landscapes and fascinating culture as well as I know them. Forty years ago I paid a long and interesting visit to Ethiopia. The memories and experiences of my visit to your beautiful country and my meetings with its citizens are still with me today.
I wish you a successful and fruitful stay in our country, and am certain that you will feel that you are among friends.




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