PM Benjamin Netanyahu with the seven leaders at the African summit in Uganda. (Kobi Gideon/GPO) (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Netanyahu Africa visit

In what may be a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Africa, Tanzania has announced it will soon re-open an embassy in Israel to help establish direct ties after severing relations following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Tanzania will open an embassy in Israel, it announced Monday during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to the region.

The Times of Israel reported that Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga gave Netanyahu a letter from Tanzanian President John Magufuli in which the intention to establish a permanent envoy was expressed.

Tanzania severed its bilateral ties with Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Relations were reestablished in 1995, but Israel still conducts its relations with Tanzania via Nairobi in Kenya. Tanzania has reportedly expressed interest in reopening a mission in Israel multiple times in recent years.

A Milestone in Israel-Africa Relations

Netanyahu was taking part in a Regional Counterterrorism Summit in Entebbe, Uganda, with the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Zambia, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Mahiga.

“This meeting I think will be a milestone, the meeting of seven leaders from African countries with Israel. I think it underscores the fact that we are in a monumental change in the relations between Israel and Africa, beginning here,” Netanyahu stated.

In a joint statement issued following the summit, the leaders said “At today’s summit, the leaders committed their countries to enhancing their cooperation in the fight against terror by sharing intelligence and utilizing new technologies, including in the sphere of cyber security.”

“Alongside the countries’ common security challenges are shared economic opportunities. The leaders discussed broadening and deepening regional and bilateral cooperation in many fields, including the deployment of new and innovative technologies, water management, agriculture, medicine, renewable energy and sustainable development,” the statement continued.

It concluded by saying that the African Union was re-granting observer status to Israel, which it has been seeking in recent years.

“The participants look forward to the African Union promptly re-granting observer status to the State of Israel. This step will reflect the friendship and be mutually beneficial to both parties.”

Netanyahu and his wife Sarah embarked on Monday on an historic visit to Africa, after decades in which no Israeli prime minister has visited the continent. Netanyahu has set improving and strengthening relations with African countries as a prime objective. He is visiting Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

By: United with Israel Staff


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