Israeli Prime Minister to visit West Africa for the first time in 50 years

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, is scheduled to attend the 51st summit of heads of state of ECOWAS in Liberia on Sunday.

This is the first time in more than 50 years that an Israeli prime minister will visit West Africa.

Golda Meir, a former prime minister of the country, visited Nigeria in the 1960s.

Tony Obiechina, senior media and political officer of the embassy of Isreal in Abuja, said Netanyahu would sign a joint declaration for greater cooperation with ECOWAS countries during Sunday’s visit.

“This visit will be the first foreign leader ever to address the summit of the 15-nation West African regional body. It will also be PM Netanyahu’s first trip outside Israel after hosting President Donald Trump in Jerusalem,” Obiechina said in a statement.

“The trip is the first for any Israeli leader to West Africa since the late prime minister Golda Meir visited Nigeria in the 1960s.

“The prime minister last year toured East Africa. Before embarking on the four-day historic trip he had remarked that ‘Israel returns to Africa, just as Africa is returning to Israel. In seizing the future, Israel is coming back to Africa in more than a verbal way.’

According to the statement, one of the goals of the trip is to strengthen economic ties and boost Israel’s know-how specifically, in the areas of water technology, agriculture, energy and cyber-security.

“Israel’s relations with Africa date back to the 1950s barely few years after it was created in 1948. Delegations from Africa to Israel had made unforgettable impacts which are still being appreciated by many today,” the statement read.



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