By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
May 21, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to pay an official visit to Ethiopia in July 2016, Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters Photo)
According to the ministry, the premier’s trip to Ethiopia was announced by Israel’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Belaynesh Zevadia, at Sheraton Addis Hotel where the 68th Independence Day of Israel was marked.
Zevadia added that Natanyahu’s visit would further bolster political, economic and social ties between the two countries which she said had an age-long historical and religious tie dating back to time of Queen of Sheba.
The two countries officially established diplomatic relations in 1956.
At the occasion, state Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie said, “Our ties are not only based on political and economic interests but also on the close people-to-people links we enjoy.”
Taye commended the Israeli Ambassador for the role her embassy is playing to enhancing multilateral relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Taye highlighted the steady increase of technical assistance and emphasized that his country would like to see more investment from Israel.
He added “Ethiopia attaches high value to the relationship between the two countries”.
It was disclosed at the occasion that Israel currently is providing short-term training in agriculture and other areas of expertise based on previous agreements the countries signed on areas of education, Culture, and Scientific Cooperation.
A number of diplomats, government officials and guests, and other signatories have attended the independence celebrations here in Addis Ababa.
Earlier this year, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has held talks with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where the two leaders agreed to work to further consolidate their bilateral relations.
Ethiopia had been working to share best practices from Israel particularly on ways how to advance agricultural technology.
The two countries have also agreed to collaborate in battling global and regional security threats as the continent faces a common threat from radical Islamist groups.
The Jewish state is looking for stronger ties with Sub Saharan African nations in a bid to enhance its diplomatic and economic ties
According to reports, the premier’s high-profile tour includes to four east African countries namely Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda
Netanyahu will first begin his visit in Uganda where he will attend anniversary of the hostage rescue operation carried out by Israeli commando during which his brother Yonatan died.
The raid was carried out in July 1976 in Entebbe, Uganda, to free passengers aboard on an Air France plane en route from Tel Aviv to Paris which was hijacked by Palestinians.
The plane was with 250 passengers were aboard, among them 85 Israeli nationals.