JERUSALEM (Nov. 11)
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain left Israel on Thursday following a state visit that Foreign Ministry officials called an outstanding success.
The seven agreements of cooperation signed during the visit are being seen as the foundation for extensive future economic cooperation between the two countries.
The king, at a farewell ceremony at President Ezer Weizman’s official residence, said his visit had been “filled not only with success but with great enjoyment and great interest.”
“I hope that our relations will go on increasing the cooperation of both countries and I hope both countries will know each other better,” the monarch said.
“Your visit here, your majesty,” Weizman replied, “adds confidence to the people of Israel and to the leaders of Israel that we’re not as alone as we were for many years, that we now have come of age and are part of the big world.”
During his stay, the king was awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy by Hebrew University, where he and the queen received a standing ovation.
The degree was presented for the king’s “efforts on behalf of his nation and his contribution to the renewal of the dialogue between the peoples of Israel and Spain.”
After receiving the award, the king called on students throughout Israel to follow the road to peace that began in Madrid in 1991.
Analysts say the king’s visit here will make a significant impression on public opinion in the Arab world, with which Spain traditionally has had close ties.
During his three-day visit, Juan Carlos also attended the signing of an agreement of cooperation between the Israeli and Spanish industrialists’ associations.
Afterward, he said recent diplomatic developments in the region had raised hopes of a new and stable Middle East where the private sector would play a pivotal role.
Israeli industrialists said they believe that, within the European Community, Spain will help fight the Arab boycott of Israel, will have a positive influence on the Israeli-E.C. agreement and on Israel’s participation in Middle East projects by the E.C.