Pres. Rivlin Hosts DNI Dan Coats; PM of Macedonia

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On Sunday, President Rivlin met at his residence with U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, on his first visit to Israel since taking office. He was accompanied by Director of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen.

The meeting addressed a range of issues including the strengthening of U.S.-Israel security cooperation, regional developments, and the global threat of terrorism.

President Rivlin stressed to Director Coats, Israel’s concern for the negative influence of Iran on the stability to the whole region, and told him of his great appreciation for the United States’ unwavering support for the security of the state of Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin also hosted Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of Macedonia on Sunday during an official visit to Israel.

The President noted the importance of the relationship between the two nations. He said, “I know the relationship between our two countries is strengthening every year, and I hope we can strengthen this even more. It is not just the friendship between government and states, it is the friendship between peoples, and we appreciate this very much.”

The Prime Minister thanked the President for his warm welcome, and said, “We are very happy to be in Israel. I am here with ministers and officials from my Government, and we hope for pleasant and fruitful cooperation in the future. We will always support our friends, and Israel is one of the biggest friends of our country.”

He spoke of his hope to learn from Israel during his visit and said, “Meeting with business and government, we will have new opportunity to learn from the advantages that Israel has, especially in building new jobs, connecting with the youth, especially connecting with hi-tech, new approaches to agriculture that Israel has.”

He was appreciative of the fact that Macedonia’s army has been equipped by Israel.

Zaev previously visited Israel in October, 2015 as Opposition leader and mayor of Strumica.

Although the Jewish population of Macdeonia today numbers only 250, the history of the Jewish community goes back to Byzantine times. There is a Jewish memorial museum close to the Foreign Ministry. Other Jewish projects listed by Zaev include the rehabilitation of the Jewish cemetery and the building of a Jewish memorial park.

One of the guests at the lunch asked about restitution of Jewish property and was told that the government hopes to a find a satisfactory solution to this problem as well.