French President Hollande to be Feted Upon Arrival in Israel Sunday
French President Francois Hollande can expect to be feted when he arrives in Israel on Sunday after his country’s integral role in putting the kabosh on a proposed deal between six world powers and Iran, last week in Geneva.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres will greet Hollande at Ben Gurion Airport at around 1 pm. This is to be followed by a welcome ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem to kick-off the visit. On the red carpet, schoolchildren from the Marc Chagall school will wave French and Israeli flags. The children will welcome President Hollande with songs and deliver welcome greetings to him in Hebrew, Arabic and French, according to Israel’s Government Press Office.
After the welcome ceremony, the two presidents will proceed to the garden of Peres’s official residence, where they will plant a tree as a sign of the strength of the cooperation between the two countries.
The two leaders are expected to hold private meetings following the ceremonies.
Netanyahu and Hollande are also scheduled to meet that evening, where they will sign a joint statement hailing “the continued growth of bilateral relations” and expressing “the determination to continue and deepen cooperation in many areas of strategic importance, and the strengthening of economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties between the two countries,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced.
“The French president is a close friend of the State of Israel and I look forward to hosting him and his partner, Valérie Trierweiler, in Israel, especially at this time when the major powers, including France, are discussing ways to halt the Iranian nuclear program,” Netanyahu said on Thursday.
“I am also pleased to host his team and French government ministers, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is taking an active and important part in the talks currently being held by the major powers. Together, we will work to advance and deepen bilateral strategic and economic relations,” the prime minister added.
On Monday, Hollande is to meet with Palestinian Authority officials before returning to Israel for a state dinner to be held at the President’s Residence. The dinner will be attended by senior members of the French and Israeli governments, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and 140 honored guests.