Israel to open its first embassy in Rwanda

Posted November 30, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed the desire for Israel to become a member of the African Union, in a renewed bid to increase cooperation with the continent, according to Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation.

Netanyahu said he apprised Rwandan President Paul Kagame of the decision at a meeting Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenya. "Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa also by forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with", said Netanyahu before departing from Israel.

Likud MKs David Bitan and David Amsalem attend a Knesset committee meeting
Likud MKs David Bitan and David Amsalem attend a Knesset committee meeting

The visit is Netanyahu's third trip to Africa within the last year-and-a-half.

But the campaign has been met with some resistance and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the African leaders to consider any development in the Africa's relations with Israel only in as much as it shows commitment to end its occupation of Palestine. "We believe in Africa". So for every, every one of your initiatives, there will be an initiative on our part to seize the future, to make life better and safer for your people.

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Meanwhile, Israel and the USA are slated to sign a memorandum of understanding next week that will bring Israel into the Power Africa initiative, an worldwide program to connect 60 million households in Africa to the electricity grid by 2030, according to The Times of Israel on Tuesday. Netanyahu joined a number of African leaders for a festive luncheon and was scheduled to have bilateral meetings afterward with some of them. "If we work together we can defeat the barbarians". "I hope that we'll all find a way to have Israel become an observer in the African Union, because we can help, not only observe, we can help build together a better future for Africa", he added. "This is our goal", Netanyahu concluded. During his visit Netanyahu met with the leaders of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia and the Vice President of Nigeria.

Israel and Rwanda re-established ties in 1994 after they were broken in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War.

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