Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, the government of the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Zion Evrony, presented his Letter of Credence from President Shimon Peres to Pope Benedict XVI at the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo on Thursday.

Evrony expressed his appreciation to the Pope for his friendship to Israel and to the Jewish People, and his happiness in presenting his credentials at a time of significant progress on the financial agreement between the State of Israel and the Holy See.

“It was a great honor and privilege to meet His Holiness the Pope,” Evrony said. “I raised issues of concern to Israel and the future relations between Israel and the Holy See. The relations are good and are based on mutual trust. We hope for the speedy completion and signing of the financial agreement. This will pave the way for the upgrading and strengthening of the relations in many areas, including academia, culture, and combating anti-Semitism.”

A career diplomat who was previously ambassador in Ireland, Evrony’s is Israel’s sixth Ambassador to the Vatican. “I am aware that this assignment is much more than a usual diplomatic mission,” he said. “It is a great challenge, but a challenge I accept with enthusiasm.”