President Guillermo Lasso and President Isaac Herzog
President Guillermo Lasso and President Isaac HerzogHaim Zach/GPO

President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso on Wednesday will visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The President will tour the, "Flashes of Memory – Photography during the Holocaust," exhibition, take part in a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad Vashem Guestbook.

He will be accompanied by Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, Ecuadorian First Lady Ms. Maria de Lourdes Alcívar de Lasso, and two Ecuadorian Ministers – the Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Holguin; and the Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries Julio José Prado Lucio-Paredes.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog hosted a state welcoming ceremony for President Guillermo Lasso and First Lady María de Lourdes Alcívar of the Republic of Ecuador during their state visit in Israel.

During the ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the national anthems of Israel and Ecuador were played and President Herzog and President Lasso reviewed an IDF honor guard, after which they held a diplomatic working meeting.

At the start of the meeting, President Herzog said: "Welcome, President Lasso. I welcome you from the bottom of my heart to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. This is a historic visit, the first of its kind by an incumbent President of Ecuador here in Israel. I would like to express my special appreciation for this, for your choice to conduct this visit now. This is another stage in the strengthening of relations between Israel and Ecuador."

"One year ago, you were elected to high office and received the reins to lead your country. I heard about and was very impressed by the results of your vaccine program to confront the coronavirus. I give you my support and wish you and the people of Ecuador great success.

"I thank you, on behalf of the Israeli people, for your friendship with our country and the shift that you are leading in Ecuador’s relations with the State of Israel. Our country’s mission is to do good in the world. Our country recently celebrated 74 years of independence, and although we are small in size, we are world leaders in technology, agriculture, science, R&D, and healthcare, and we will be happy to collaborate with Ecuador in all these important fields.

"I want to send my blessings to the Jewish community of Ecuador, a very historic community. I am happy that you have an ambassador of this community here in Israel."

Herzog added, "My wife and I are very happy to host you and the First Lady here in Jerusalem, at the President’s Residence, in the special State of Israel, a socially and geographically diverse country with a wonderful connection between past, future, and present, between traditions and ancient history and innovation and modernity. I wish you and the whole delegation a successful, productive, and enjoyable visit."

"Let me end on a note of thanks, on behalf of very many young Israeli tourists who visit your country and love it dearly, and for opening a technology and innovation office in Jerusalem, which is certainly a bold and correct decision, which will contribute significantly to promoting relations between our countries. Thank you."

President Guillermo Lasso said: "Thank you very much, Mr. President. For me, my wife, and my delegation, it is a great honor to be here in Israel, a country that I have always particularly admired. I admire the Israeli fighting spirit, Israel’s great dignity, and its development. In 74 years, with half of Ecuador’s population, you have reached an economy four times the size of Ecuador’s."

"Just like the world, Ecuador also admires your success in the fields of agriculture and technology. Ecuador is at a stage where it would like to strengthen its relations with strategic partners, such as the State of Israel. In our foreign policy, we would like to see more of Ecuador in the world and more of the world in Ecuador. We want to strengthen our international ties in the fields of politics, economics, culture, and also tourism. In the field of commerce specifically, we are looking to develop a negotiations process toward a free trade agreement between our two countries.

"I want to tell you that there is a greatly valued Jewish community in Ecuador, especially in our capital Quito, a community that our ambassador, Helen Deller Klein, comes from. It is a very hardworking community, which has contributed much to our society’s development.

"I want to thank you again, Mr. President. It is a great honor to meet you in person."

On Wednesday night, President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog will host a state dinner at the President’s Residence in honor of the President and First Lady of Ecuador.