Secretary Clinton “Catches Up With an Old Friend” in Jerusalem

March 3, 2009
Secretary Clinton With Israeli President Shimon Peres

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author: Daniel S. Mattern serves as a Consular Officer at U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv.

Secretary Clinton’s first stop on her inaugural official visit to Israel was at the residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres. Completed in 1971, the building was constructed from pink granite, Jerusalem stone, and exposed concrete. But what makes the scene come alive is the display of artwork reflecting Israel’s rich cultural heritage – all of it creates a beautiful backdrop. After 60 years of diplomatic relations and friendship, this is the place where Israel would welcome the Secretary and where the Secretary would begin her very busy day in Jerusalem.

For those of us already at the site, waiting for the Secretary to arrive unites feelings of excitement and nervousness. The staff of the residence made final preparations; Israeli and international camera crews trickled in and set up their equipment. As with most visits of this kind, the visuals would be critical to communicating the messages the Secretary was expected to bring with her. With everything in place, the motorcade arrived and the Secretary was met by President Peres. They shook hands and kissed, smiled broadly, paused for photos, and headed inside. Their actual meeting was held in a room off the main hall with the principals and delegation members attending.

The Secretary and President Peres emerged 45 minutes later and proceeded to lecterns where they made short statements to the press. Both statements conveyed the seriousness of the issues that had been discussed – security, peace, the situation in Gaza – but also articulated the shared optimism of the present moment. President Peres expressed words of welcome to the Secretary on behalf of Israel. In turn, the Secretary talked about her numerous trips to Israel over the past 30 years and her close friendship with the country’s current president. More photos were taken as President Peres presented the Secretary with a small bouquet – a great shot! The Secretary then signed the official guest book and moved toward the door, escorted by President Peres, and followed by her delegation and the traveling press. Goodbyes were exchanged, the Secretary stepped inside her car, and the motorcade rolled out. The renewal of the Israeli-American diplomatic friendship was off to a warm and friendly start.



Florida, USA
March 3, 2009

Clifford in Florida writes:

I still believe in a place called "Hope". I've been to Hope Arkansas, I've seen Hope in the spirit of Americans, and I believe that Hope and good leadership will renew our county.

Indiana, USA
March 3, 2009

Denise in Indiana writes:


Massachusetts, USA
March 3, 2009

Reed in Massachusetts writes:

The descriptions of the event and the accompanying visuals really bring the event to life. Wish we could be behind the doors to hear their conversation!

New Jersey, USA
March 3, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

What a beautiful picture! And he gave her flowers! They look so cute together. Thanks for this post, Daniel.

California, USA
March 3, 2009

Patricia in California writes:

The DipNotes and the State Department give us the news of what is really happening in the world. Thank you.

There is no question that there are many problems in this world. There is also no question that the only way to solve them is to begin to address them. The State Department is doing just that. I was surprised when one of my children told me that he feels safer in this world knowing that we have a diplomatic corp. and now a Secretary of State who know what that are doing. He expressed my sentiments exactly.

Also, I love the photo above.

California, USA
March 4, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Dear Mr. Mattern,

Thanks so much for this detailed look inside the event. It gives immediacy & verisimilitude to diplomacy.


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