Netanyahu announces opening of new Israeli embassy in Rwanda

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi in July 2016

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%.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday his country will open an embassy in Rwanda as part of the push to increase its influence in Africa.

Netanyahu spoke of Israel's desire to see Africa progress and achieve its development goals, promising his government's assistance in providing the necessary technology.

Netanyahu has previously announced on more than one occasion since previous year, and even during his visit to Africa, that he is trying to establish a closer relationship with the continent to cut with the instinctive sympathy for Palestine in global institutions in which Palestinians are supported.

Over the past two years, legations from four African countries have opened in Israel. I will meet with re-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and with 10 African leaders as well.

Netanyahu called on the African leaders to "contend with the various challenges facing the region, including Islamic terrorism".

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Meanwhile, Israel and the US are slated to sign a memorandum of understanding next week that will bring Israel into the Power Africa initiative, an global program to connect 60 million households in Africa to the electricity grid by 2030, according to The Times of Israel on Tuesday. "If we work together we can defeat the barbarians. Our people deserve better lives and we can provide that for them", said the Israeli PM.

Netanyahu also related to Israel's attempt to become and observed to the African Union.

"I hope that we all find a way to have Israel become an observer status in the African Union because we can help, we cannot only observe but we can help build together a better future for Africa", he added.

Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Ian Khama (Botswana), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Ismaïl Omar Guelleh Muhammed (Djibouti), Abdullahi Farmajo (Somalia), Guinea's Prime Minister Mamady Youla and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended the ceremony.

Netanyahu was last in Kenya in July 2016.

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

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