JERUSALEM (Mar. 31)
Visiting Costa Rican President Daniel Oduber Quiros warmly praised Israel’s democratic socialism at a dinner in his honor here last night after addressing a special session of the Knesset. Toasting his host President Ephraim Katzir, he said:
“You have sought progress and achieved, through energy and through science, the blooming of deserts….I want the same for my people. You have achieved a just social order that ensures that the fruits of your labors are enjoyed by all….I want the same for my people. You bear aloft the banner of dynamic democracy….I want to maintain and strengthen this for my people.”
Oduber also praised Israel’s respect for the holy places in Jerusalem which he had visited earlier in the day on a tour guided by Mayor Teddy Kollek. Today he and his party toured Galilee.
Addressing the Knesset, Oduber drew warm applause when he declared: “Here in Jerusalem, the mystic city of peace and the capital of the State of Israel. I have a better understanding for the eternal link between the Jewish people and its love for Zion.”
He said that just as Costa Rica had backed Israel at its inception, it would continue to back the Jewish State in its effort to achieve genuine peace within secure and recognized borders. He promised firm support at the UN and other forums, and referred to Israel as a “sister-state.” Speaking from the Knesset rostrum is an honor conferred only upon visiting heads of state.