Netanyahu scheduled to attend African summit in 2016

PM Netanyahu with the seven African leaders at the African summit in Uganda (Photo: GPO/Kobi Gideon)

Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to attend a summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria at the end of 2016.

The announcement comes following a meeting last week between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Marcel Alain de Souza of ECOWAS in Jerusalem, their meeting focused on boosting Israel’s relations with Africa, specifically in regional security and economic cooperation.

President de Souza also met with President Rivlin, stating to the press following their meeting “I stand at the head of a large economic community, which includes 15 nations, and around 320 million people. There is tremendous potential, which is derived also from the young populations of the countries. We need development, and wish to weave more and more ties with Israel. We have an abundance of raw materials, and wonderful youth who need training and guidance.”

Rivlin also spoke of the growing relations between Africa and Israel, stating “Africa is key to the future of the world. Your organization facilitates the cooperation between the individual African countries, and also between Africa and the whole world which looks to see what is happening there. We have excellent cooperation, and we welcome the opportunity for Israel to contribute from its knowledge and abilities in the fields of health, water and agriculture- a sign of the friendship between us.”

Developing relations and cooperation by African states with Israel continue following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Africa tour mid- July. Following his tour, Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold met with President of Chad Idriss Déby in the first visit by an Israeli official to Chad in over 40 years since the country severed ties with Israel in 1972.

Additionally, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Jerusalem, the first visit by an Egyptian official to Israel in over nine years.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, August 2, 2016, and reposted with permission.