World Jewish News
Israeli PM Netanyahu heads to Kenya
28.11.2017, Israel and the World
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Tuesday morning for Kenya where he will attend the inauguration or a second term of President Uhuru Kenyatta and meet with several African leaders.
The one day visit is Netanyahu’s third to the continent in a year and a half. The prime minister said he would meet with Kenyatta and with another 10 African leaders. Netanyahu also said that he hoped to announce that Israel would be opening an embassy in an unnamed African country.
“Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa also by forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with,” Netanyahu said. “Legations from four African countries have opened in Israel in the past two years and I hope that by the end of the day I will be able to announce the opening of a new Israeli embassy in an African country, and the hand is still extended.”
In August, two Muslim majority nations, Senegal and Guinea, established diplomatic representation in Israel for the first time.
Israel currently has ties with 41 sub-Saharan countries that are not members of the Arab League. Netanyahu has made the push into Africa one of his top foreign policy objectives, with the hope that in the long-term, the strengthening of ties with African nations will break the automatic Arab majority at the United Nations.
Among the leaders Netanyahu is expected to meet with is Rwandan President Paul Kagame. According to media reports Israel and Rwanda have agreed a deal whereby the African nation will agree to accept Eritrean and Sudanese migrants that Israel wishes to deport. The reports claim that Israel will pay $5,000 for every migrant accepted, and Netanyahu recently declared that he had reached an “international agreement” that would allow Israel to “deport 40,000 remaining infiltrators without their consent.”
Among the other African leaders attending the event are Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Botswana’s Ian Khama, John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Namibia’s Hage Geingob, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, Mohamed Farmajo of Somalia, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.
Netanyahu is the only non-African leader attending the inauguration.
According to a report in the Kenyan Daily Nation, China and Japan will send special envoys while South Africa, Britain, Ukraine, and India will send ministers.
Netanyahu returns to Israel Tuesday afternoon.