Photo Credit: Mark Neiman / GPO
President Reuven Rivlin with Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, in Jerusalem. Sept. 4 2017

President Reuven Rivlin is nothing if not a good sport; even though Israel lost the World Cup qualifiers to Macedonia this weekend, he gave a warm welcome in Jerusalem Sunday (Sept. 4) to Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on his official visit to Israel.

Rivlin also congratulated the delegation on their victory against Israel in the World Cup qualifiers the previous evening.


“Like football, running the government is like teamwork, without teamwork you can’t do anything,” Rivlin said.

(Good sport, but perhaps an edgy observation to the Israeli team, or the government team behind the scenes?)

“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,” Rivlin added diplomatically.

The prime minister thanked the president for his warm welcome, saying he and the delegation were “very happy” to be in Israel,

“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.”

Zaev spoke of his hope to learn from Israel during his visit, adding, “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, and the new approaches to agriculture that Israel has.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.