Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Berlin on his first official trip abroad since taking office.
He was received upon landing by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Bellevue Palace. FM Ashkenazi thanked President Steinmeier for his long friendship and courageous support of Israel. They discussed pressing issues in the areas of security, economy, health and politics.
FM Ashkenazi later visited memorial platform 17 in Grunewald, the platform from were Berlin Jews were deported to Nazi extermination camps during World War II. At the memorial, he laid a wreath in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and lit candles with Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff.
This morning, FM Ashkenazi visited the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Education Center, accompanied by and Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Afterwards, both met in the Liebermann Villa and discussed bilateral relations and regional developments.
FM Ashkenazi: “I am excited to stand here, as the Foreign Minister of the State of Israel and the official representative of the Israeli government, together with a representative of the German government, my friend the German Foreign Minister, at the site where the Wannsee Conference was held 78 years ago.
“Here, in this place, Nazi leaders and senior members of the Reich gathered with the sole intention of connecting all branches of the ruthless Nazi regime to coordinate means and methods leading to horrendous murder campaigns and the extermination of six million Jews.
“As the official guest of the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, I can attest to the warm and friendly friendship that is an expression of the relationship between Israel and Germany on the political, economic, tourist and medical levels, and to the large Jewish community that is supported here, which emphasizes the true victory of the Jewish people.”