FM Liberman: The relationship with African countries is of prime strategic importance for the State of Israel, from the security, diplomatic and economic standpoints as well as on many other levels.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman will leave tomorrow (Tuesday 10 June 2014) on a 10-day "strategic visit" to Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya. FM Liberman will be joined by a delegation from the Israel Export Institute that will include representatives from some 50 Israeli companies, with the goal of of developing the economic ties between Israel and those countries. Minister Lieberman will also be joined by MKs Simon Solomon (Chairman of the African lobby in the Knesset), Merav Michaeli and Pnina Tamano-Shata.
FM Liberman will meet with the presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other ministers of the countries he will be visiting, and will hold collaborative financial-business seminars.
In Kenya, FM Liberman will inaugurate a direct airline route between Tel Aviv and Nairobi, will award prizes to children who participated in a drawing competition of pictures of the Holy Land marking 50 years of Israel-Kenya relations and will inaugurate a children’s cancer ward that was refurbished by the Israeli embassy in Kenya.
In Rwanda, FM Liberman will inaugurate an agricultural training center, and in Kumasi he will participate in a traditional ceremony to be held in his honor by the Ashanti king His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II. In Cote d’Ivoire, FM Liberman and Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan will inaugurate a palm oil production plant partly owned by an Israeli company and will participate in other events.
Prior to the visit, FM Liberman stated: "The relationship with African countries is of prime strategic importance for the State of Israel, from the security, diplomatic and economic standpoints as well as on many other levels. At the beginning of the term of the previous government, in 2009, I visited Africa – the first time in many years that an Israeli foreign minister visited the region – and since then we have seen the positive outcome that has resulted in the strengthening of cooperation in fields that are important to both Israel and the African countries. I will continue to strengthen these ties and extend them to other countries and issues.
Africa is an important goal of Israeli foreign policy, and we will make a diplomatic effort to ensure that Israel will be accepted in the coming year as an observer in the African Union.
During the past year, both the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of State visited Africa, as well as the President, Prime Minister, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of China. These facts are indicative of the great importance of Africa in the fluctuating international arena.
I see great importance to investment in Africa, in the humanitarian, economic and political spheres. There are many areas where Israel can help with aid and development: Agriculture, water management, medicine, combating terrorism, and more … We have established partnerships with various countries for investment in Africa, including the United States, Canada, and Italy, and the highlight is the African Initiative, a joint project with Germany that was decided upon during the last meeting of the Israeli and German governments. The African Initiative is a program of cooperation for development in the countries of Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Burundi with an investment of 50 million euros.”
List of official meetings:
In Kigali, capital of Rwanda, FM Liberman will meet with President Paul Kagame, Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo and with Minister of Agriculture Dr. Agnes Kalibata.
In Abidjan, FM Liberman will meet with Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan and with Minister of Foreign Affairs Charles Koffi Diby.
In Ghana, FM Liberman will meet with the Ashanti king, His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, with Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanna Tetteh and Minister of Defence Mark Woyongo.
In Addis Ababa FM Liberman will meet with Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom.
In Nairobi, FM Liberman will meet with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Vice President William Rutu and with Minister of Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed.