Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sunday morning at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
"Welcome to Israel, dear friend of Israel. It is a pleasure to host you and your delegation here, Chancellor Merkel," Bennett told the Chancellor.
"We value your continued friendship with you and your commitment to Israel. The relationship between Germany and Israel has been strong, but in your time it has become stronger than ever.
"It has become another true friendship alliance thanks to your leadership. We expect to strengthen it even more - in business, science, education, health And of course with confidence.
"Sometimes a leader makes a significant difference, and I think your leadership has paved the way for Germany's continued commitment to Israel's security, which is greatly appreciated."
Bennett continued: ''We certainly remember history, and look optimistically to a better future. The government under my leadership will continue the ongoing relationship. Our new government also brings a new spirit of goodwill."
According to him, "This is the most diverse government in the history of Israel. We have right and left, Jews and Muslims, religious and secular, and it works, we get along pretty well together.
It is also the most female government in the history of Israel, with eight female ministers, and I think that is one of the reasons it works well."
''I'm sure we'll have a very fruitful meeting. On behalf of the Israeli public, I would like to thank you. Thank you, Angela," the Prime Minister told the Chancellor.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel landed in Israel Saturday night for a two-day visit.
The veteran leader who came for a final visit before leaving her role also attended a festive government meeting by the Israeli Government in her honor.
Following her morning meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for breakfast, she will meet with President Yitzhak Herzog in the afternoon.
During the visit, Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the Yad Vashem Museum and meet high-tech individuals and Israeli entrepreneurs together with the Prime Minister. She will also receive an honorary doctorate from the Technion and tomorrow will address the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).
Per the Germans' request, their leader will follow strict corona health precautions of distancing, refraining from shaking any hands, due to concerns for Merkel's health.
Contrary to previous practice, the German Chancellor will not meet with Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu during the visit. According to reports, Merkel's bureau sought to define the visit in a way that would allow her to avoid meeting Benjamin Netanyahu, apparently in light of the less favorable relations between the former prime minister and the exiting chancellor.