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Netanyahu Boosts Ties to Africa


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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Nairobi Tuesday morning to attend the inauguration of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It is Netanyahu's third trip to the African continent over the past year and a half. In July 2016, he became the first sitting prime minister to travel to Africa in nearly three decades, visiting Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

"Africa is a continent on the rise. Israel looks forward to strengthening ties with all its countries," Netanyahu said at the time. He also held a counter-terrorism summit to discuss how Israel could help them confront Islamic terrorism in their countries. Earlier this year, he attended a summit in Liberia.

Before his early morning departure, Netanyahu told reporters he wants to strengthen Israel's relations with African nations.

"Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa also by forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with. Delegations 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," he said.

Following the ceremony, Netanyahu will address an inauguration day luncheon hosted by Kenyatta. Among the guests are the presidents of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana and Namibia, and the prime minister of Ethiopia.

After the luncheon, Netanyahu will take part in a series of meetings with African heads of state.  


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