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First Israeli Envoy to Prague in 23 Years Presents Credentials

Joel Sher, Israel’s first ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 23 years, presented his credentials Tuesday to President Vaclav Havel.

Havel made restoration of diplomatic relations with Israel a priority after the Communist government that ruptured those ties fell last December and he was chosen to lead the nation.

The reception at Prague’s Hradcany Castle, which followed the traditional salute of the honor guard, was televised during the Tuesday evening news program. However, the Israeli ambassador was mistakenly identified as a visiting minister from Finland.

But after being advised by viewers, Czechoslovak Television apologized for the error in the next news bulletin and broadcast an interview with the new envoy.

In the interview, Sher emphasized the need to make up for the missing 23 years in relation between the two nations. He said 11 Israeli-Czechoslovak accords were being prepared to foster cultural, economic and social cooperation.