Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday awarded Czech President Miloš Zeman Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor, according to a statement from Herzog’s office.

The award, the first presented by Herzog as president, was granted during his one-day visit to the Czech Republic on Monday together with first lady Michal Herzog.

The visit kicked off with an official welcoming ceremony and honor guard at Prague Castle in the Czech capital, after which Herzog held a private meeting with Zeman and an expanded meeting with the participation of both countries’ delegations, according to the statement.

The Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor advisory committee noted the Czech president’s “deep friendship with the Jewish People, his consistent support for Israel on the international stage, and his zero tolerance policy toward terrorism and anti-Semitism, said Herzog’s office.

In his remarks at the presentation ceremony, Herzog stated, “The Czech-Jewish writer Franz Kafka wrote in his diary in February 1922: ‘Possibilities exist in me, possibilities close at hand that I don’t yet know of.’ President Zeman, for many years you have proven beyond all doubt that the possibilities and opportunities within you are well-known and famed as a beacon and an example for all of us, for the Czech Republic, for Israel, and for the whole of humanity.

“You are an important ally, and your love of Israel has given it renown in the family of nations. It is no secret that for several decades, Israel and [the Czech Republic] have been true partners, learning from each other, supporting each other, and relying on each other.”

Herzog added, “We remember well, and shall always remember, the Czech support for the establishment of the State of Israel. We also remember Czechia’s greatest leaders, and for many years, it has been thanks to this amity and partnership that we have advanced our nations’ shared ideological, economic and security interests. We thank you for your support for the State of Israel in international forums. We thank you for your clear moral stance, taking Israel’s side against the many enemies who wish to destabilize the Middle East.”


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