Rivlin meets with ambassadors from African countries to Israel

President comments on UN blacklist. "We hope that our friends will oppose this outrageous political decision.”

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin with the ambassadors
Rivlin with the ambassadors
Mark Neiman, GPO

President Reuven Rivlin today, Thursday, met a delegation of ambassadors from African countries to Israel, headed by the Ambassador of Zambia, Martin Mwanambale.

The president commented on the ‘blacklist’ published yesterday by the UNCHR, saying “I am proud to be Israeli. I am proud that these are Israeli businesses, patriots who contribute to Israeli society, to economy and to peace. When Israeli businesses are under the threat of boycott, we will stand with them. Boycotting Israeli companies does not advance the cause of peace and does not build confidence between the sides. We hope that our friends will oppose this outrageous political decision.”

Speaking about the meeting with the ambassadors, which is part of the new Africa-MFA forum launched to strengthen relations with the continent, the president said, “It is a pleasure to welcome you here. I believe that Africa is the continent of the future and I deeply believe that Israel and Africa are natural partners in turning challenges into opportunities. We have so much in common. We are young states but old nations, we have diverse societies, and we share a commitment to democracy.”

The president noted how happy he was with the relations with African states in a range of areas, saying “In the diplomatic arena, we opened last year a new embassy in Kigali, and we have growing relations with Muslim African countries. In this context we would like to resume our observer status at the African Union. In the security area, we both face the threats of terror and cyber-attacks, and we are happy to share our knowledge in the fields of counter-terror and cyber security. In the economic sphere, we recently opened up two new economic offices in Ghana and Kenya. And in the field of development, we have been cooperating almost from the birth of the State of Israel.”

Ambassador of Zambia to Israel Martin Mwanambale thanked the president for the meeting, saying “We are honored to be welcomed here today. This new forum is very important to us. Our main function is to improve cooperation between Israel and Africa. We are aware of the challenges that Africa faces - health, sanitation, energy, slow growth. We appreciate that Israel has the know-how so we are looking to find opportunities for cooperation. It is a two-way relationship and together we can achieve a lot.”