A new page in the diplomatic history of the relations between the Federated States of Micronesia and the State of Israel was turned on 03 February 2014 at noon (Jerusalem Time) when Mr. Asterio R Takesy, resident in Washington DC as FSM Ambassador to the US, presented his letter of credence to Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem to formalize his cross-accreditation as FSM Ambassador to Israel. Concurrently Ambassador Takesy presented the letter of recall of his immediate predecessor, Ambassador Yosiwo P George, who has been elected to FSM Congress to represent the State of Kosrae.
Paying respect to President Peres as Israel’s head of state, Takesy prefaced the standard diplomatic statement of presenting credentials with a Micronesian traditional phrase of paying tribute normally accorded to high-level leaders: “Tirow wom Fau-pung Hamwol.” (In the Chuukese language, the phrase symbolizes a leader as a Rock situated on a barrier reef that remains standing calm and steadfast in upholding the best interest of the people in the midst of pounding waves).
The State of Israel is the first country in the Middle East region that extended diplomatic recognition to the then newly emerging Federated States of Micronesia. Israel is one of the first foreign countries to establish full diplomatic relations with the FSM at a time when the newly born nation was embarking on the difficult task of establishing itself in the international community.
During the Presentation of Credentials ceremony at the Israel official Presidential Residence, President Peres welcomed Ambassador Takesy to Israel and bid him to “feel like a friend amongst friends,” adding that Israel is grateful for FSM’s consistent support at the UN, “a small land, but a great friend.” He went on to say, “You stood day after day and year after year on our side and we are grateful for your position.” Noting that the two countries are “oceans apart” in terms of geographical distances, President Peres remarked that the people of Israel are nonetheless grateful for the friendship extended by the people of Micronesia. He stated that Israel would like to reciprocate in anyway it can, drawing on national capability as well as scientific and technological discoveries to improve the lives of the people of the FSM, notably through the areas of agriculture, and aquaculture. In fact, these along with others have been identified as possible areas of cooperation between the two countries, with the desirability being expressed on both sides for the formulation of a Blueprint for Cooperation.
For his part, after expressing his gratitude to President Peres for accepting his credentials, Ambassador Takesy conveyed President Mori’s warm greetings and best wishes to President Peres for his continued good health and prosperity of the people of Israel. He also expressed President Mori’s commitment to the support of Israel and his desire for visiting Israel again, to further strengthen the relations between the peoples and governments of the two countries. Ambassador Takesy added, “our friendship with Israel is no accident of history – its source is to be found, in part, in our shared belief in the Judeo-Christian values and in part in the preamble of our FSM Constitution, which states in relevant part – ‘The seas bring us together, they do not separate us… We extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.’”
Recalling the pleasure of being honored by the visit of President Mori in 2010, President Peres extended a welcome to President Mori to visit Israel again to augment the shared vision of friendly relations between the FSM and Israel. Officials of the two governments have commenced exploring possible dates for the visit.
Apart from the Presentation of Credentials ceremony, Ambassador Takesy, who was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission James A Naich as his staff-advisor, undertook visits to agricultural sites as well as meetings with officials of the Foreign Ministry, such as the Deputy Foreign Minister, non-resident ambassador to FSM Ambassador Michael Ronnen, Director of the Pacific Affairs Department, and Director of the Policy Planning Division of the Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV). He took time to meet with members of the Israel Knesset (Parliament), including Vice Speaker M.K. Ruther Calderone, K.M. Isaac Herzog, Leader of the Opposition (whose father was the only Israeli Prime Minister who visited the Pacific region), and M.K. Shimon Ohayon, Chairman of the Israel-FSM Parliamentary Friendship League, including FSM supporters in the Israel community at large. Before leaving Israel, Ambassador Takesy also underwent a program of cultural orientation organized by the Office of Protocol to acquaint him to the rich history and culture of Israel and its people.
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