Israel opened its first embassy in Rwanda on Friday, offering support to the East Africa nation from health to education and agriculture, as well as communication technology including cyber-security, AFP reported.
"This country shares a lot of similarities with state of Israel and offers a lot of ground for mutual cooperation," new Israeli ambassador Ron Adam said after meeting with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
Rwanda, a largely Christian nation, has said it is keen to encourage tourists to the country, especially to see its famous mountain gorillas.
Rwandair, the national airline, has said it will begin direct flights to Israel in 2019.
While Israel and Rwanda had maintained diplomatic ties for years, the Israeli foreign ministry had not yet established an embassy in Rwanda, and has relied on the Israeli embassy in Ethiopia. News of the embassy in the Rwandan capital of Kigali was first reported last October.
Last year, then-Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited Kigali, becoming the first Israeli defense minister to visit Rwanda.
Israel already has strong ties across East Africa, especially in Uganda and Kenya, but is expanding its diplomatic presence on the continent.
In January, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the majority-Muslim nation of Chad to restore diplomatic ties after a decades-long break.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)