On 16 to 19 July 2017, Yohan Byrde headed a 5 person delegation from InterNations EXchange to Israel. The delegation had several meetings with representatives of the municipalities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as with government officials from various ministries, among which the prime minister’s office. This planned official visit laid the groundwork for cooperation on multiple levels of governance and is another step in expanding INEX’s global network of political and diplomatic partnership for peace.
Along with INEX president Yohan Byrde and the vice-president Jeroen Zandberg, three representatives from Chameria, among which the Prime Minister Festim Lato, made up the delegation. Chameria is a region in Northwestern Greece originally inhabited by Cham people who were expelled to Albania during World War II. INEX is representing the Cham in their struggle to get recognition for their plight.
The delegation presented historical documents about Chameria, as well as diplomatic letters to government officials in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The positive reception of the INEX delegation and its planned follow up meetings is a clear sign of a future partnership in making the world more inclusive and just.
Israel is one of the world’s senior democracies and is dedicated to upholding the values of democracy and human rights. Furthermore, it’s Jewish character makes it an unique partner for more global awareness for peaceful identity politics and diplomacy. Added to this is the fact that there is a substantial Jewish cultural influence on the Chamerian people. For example, the mother of the Chamerian Prime Minister is herself of Jewish origin.
INEX sees the country of Israel, as well as its major cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as an important global partner in striving for world peace and recognition of neglected human and cultural rights of unrepresented peoples.