Netanyahu Announces Opening of Embassy in Rwanda

Netanyahu Announces Opening of Embassy in Rwanda

Diplomatic officials deflected criticism that Netanyahu is attending the ceremony even though it was contested and marred by violence, saying that the global community accepted the Supreme Court's authorisation of the second election results, which Kenyatta won by a margin of some 98%.

JERUSALEM/NAIROBI--Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday in Nairobi with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and informed him that Israel will be opening an embassy in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

"We are opening a new embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali as part of Israel's expanding presence in Africa and the deepening of cooperation between Israel and the countries of Africa", Netanyahu explained, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office. "If we work together we can defeat the barbarians".

The trip comes amidst Israeli efforts to strengthen the ties with African nations and would be Netanyahu's third visit to the continent over the last six months. "Our people deserve better lives and we can provide that for them", said the Israeli PM.

At a festive lunch Netanyahu, who is also Israel's foreign minister, said he was seeking observer status for his country at the African Union. "And I hope that we will find a way to help Israel become an observer of the African Union because we can help- we cannot only watch, but we can help build a better future for Africa together".

But the campaign has been met with some resistance and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the African leaders to consider any development in the Africa's relations with Israel only in as much as it shows commitment to end its occupation of Palestine. "This is our goal", Netanyahu concluded.

The meeting with Kagame was part of marathon meetings that Netanyahu held on the sidelines of Kenyatta's inauguration ceremony, which included meetings with the presidents of Gabon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana, and Namibia.

Israel and Rwanda re-established ties in 1994 after they were broken in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War.