Israeli Speaker Reuven Rivlin visits Tonga


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The speaker of Israel’s Knesset, Reuven Rivlin made a historic visit to the island of Tonga in the South Pacific.

Rivlin became the first Knesset speaker to travel to the kingdom, spending three days on an official visit accompanied by Israel’s non-resident ambassador, Shemi Tzur.

Rivlin also is the highest-ranked Israeli government official ever to visit the archipelago, which comprises more than 150 islands.

He was received at the Consular House by the speaker of Tonga’s Parliament, Lord Lasike, and by King George Tupou V. Rivlin also met Health Minister ‘Uliti Uata to donate insulin to Vaiola Hospital’s Diabetes Unit, the Tonga Chronicle reported.

Tzur, the ambassador to New Zealand, was officially accredited on March 29 by King George Tupou V. He is also Israel’s non-resident ambassador to the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa.

“This is a visit to enhance and rekindle friendly relations between Israel and Tonga,” the Tonga Chronicle quoted Tzur as saying.

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