Herzog before taking off for Brussels
Herzog before taking off for BrusselsHaim Zach/GPO

President Isaac Herzog departed on Wednesday morning for an official visit to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

Prior to departure, Herzog said, “Good morning. Tomorrow the whole world will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day was instituted by UN resolution in 2005 following a move initiated by the Government of Israel and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by then-Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.”

“One of the main events on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a session of the European Parliament, which represents the nations of Europe. I will have the privilege of appearing before the Parliament and to speak for the State of Israel, the democratic, strong, nation-state of the Jewish People, which extends its hand in peace,” he continued.

“I will tell the story of the Holocaust’s victims and survivors. I will be moved to think that eighty years ago, nobody could have imagined that the head of a state of the Jewish People would stand before a European parliament and mark the most terrible event in the history of humanity,” said Herzog.

“I will meet the leaders of the European Union’s institutions and with the Belgian government and the Jewish community of Belgium, and there will be a special meeting with NATO.”

“At all these places, I shall of course raise the enormous challenge facing us and the whole Middle East in the form of Iran, which is racing toward nuclear weapons, using terror throughout the Middle East, and supplying weapons used against the Ukrainian people. I shall also raise the issue of the hostages and MIAs, our sons, whom we call for Hamas to release immediately and return to Israel. Thank you very much,” concluded Herzog.

The President will begin his visit at the Royal Palace of Brussels, where he will be received by His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians, and the two leaders will hold a meeting. President Herzog will then visit the Athénée Ganenou Jewish school and will meet pupils of all ages studying there.

Later, the President will meet with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and will visit the Great Synagogue of Europe, where he will meet members of the Jewish communities of Brussels and Antwerp.

On Thursday, the President will visit the European Parliament at the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and he will deliver the main address in front of MEPs and Holocaust survivors at a special plenary session on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Finally, the President will meet NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and representatives of NATO member-states, and will brief about Israel’s security and diplomatic strategic situation.