Jerusalem's Mayor Nir Barkat and NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Barkat De Blasio

Mayors from around the world convened in Jerusalem to discuss innovation, technology and urban development.

Mayors from all over the world came together in Jerusalem on Sunday to participate in the 30th International Conference of Mayors, this during a time when Israel’s capital is contending with a violent wave of Palestinian terror attacks.

Among the participants is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who decided to come as a gesture of solidarity with Israel. The visiting mayors will meet with high-level officials and local government leaders, as well as Israeli Nobel Prize laureates and hi-tech entrepreneurs. During the conference Israel will present its achievements in technology and urban development.

“For the past 30 years, the Mayors Conference has fostered an international dialogue on creating smarter cities,” said Jack Rosen, chairman of American Council for World Jewry and president of American Jewish Congress. “This initiative brings together local leaders, because we believe in their power to change and improve people’s lives.”

“It is not surprising that mayors from all over the world have come here, even at this time, for Israel is at the forefront of innovation in revitalizing the urban arena,” said Arthur Koll, Deputy Director General for Media and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visiting mayors are scheduled to meet with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.

‘Heart-Warming’ Scene

The Conference is being held under the auspices of the American Jewish Congress, the American Council for World Jewry, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in coordination with the Israeli Federation of Local Authorities and the Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa municipalities.

Among the visiting mayors this year are the mayors of New York City, Kathmandu, Tirana, Strasbourg, Vilnius and Beşiktaş-Istanbul

Joel Lion, Director of the MFA Public Affairs Department, said at the opening event: “It is heart-warming to see 30 mayors from around the world – from capital cities, historic cities, and resorts – who have come to Jerusalem, especially in these difficult times, to discuss how to cooperate with Israel in the field of urban innovation.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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