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Arnold: Maria and I "love each other very much"

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made his first public appearance since the announcement that he and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, had separated.

Speaking Tuesday night at a Los Angeles event marking Israeli independence, Schwarzenegger thanked friends and family for an outpouring of support.

Shriver, Schwarzenegger: behind the split

The first thing he talked about after taking the podium was the separation.

Pictures: Maria Shriver
Pictures: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pictures: Celebrity Splits

He said, "I just talked to Maria an hour ago before I came here, and we both were saying the same thing -- we're amazed and extremely blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and so many wonderful friends. We both love each other very much, and we're very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children, and we are taking one day at a time."

The two issued a joint statement Monday that they were living apart as they work on the future of their relationship and continue to parent their four children.

Schwarzenegger ended a seven-year term as California governor in January.