Published on : 12/27/2015
By : Arista Asmawati
President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, who planted an olive tree in the Grove of Nations on Tuesday, December 22, is the 81st head of state to plant a tree in this unique grove, which overlooks the green landscapes of Jerusalem.
Presidents and heads of state from all over the world plant trees in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem as a symbol of hope for peace and as a sign of friendship with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The tree planting ceremony with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was attended by KKL-JNF Chairman Danny Atar, KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Zeev Noyman, Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine Economy and Trade Minister Aivaras AbromaviÄius, Ukraine Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko and the Ambassador to Israel from Ukraine, HE Hennadii Nadolenko.
“An olive tree symbolizes peace, and this is precisely what is needed in Ukraine and also in Israel. We are praying for this,” said President Petro Poroshenko at the tree planting ceremony, which took place in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem on 22 December, 2015. “If the tree we are planting today will bring us even one step closer to the peace we long for, it has great significance,” he said.
“We hope this tree will take root, grow and prosper, as we hope will also be the case with the ties between Israel and Ukraine,” said KKL-JNF Chairman Danny Atar. “Planting a tree symbolizes our connection to the earth and our love for the land. KKL-JNF invests great efforts in developing the land of Israel for the benefit of all its citizens,” said Atar.
President Poroshenko was impressed by the beautiful forest that encompasses Jerusalem and said, “Until the Jewish people arrived, your land was desolate. It was only your efforts that enabled the revival of the forests and life in the Holy Land.”
Eli Belotserkovsky, the Ambassador to Ukraine from Israel, noted that the fields in which KKL-JNF is involved could serve as fertile ground for cooperation between the two countries. “Agriculture, afforestation and environmental action are an excellent foundation for joint ventures. Israeli expertise and advanced technology are very relevant for Ukraine,” said the Ambassador.
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