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Israel-African relations improve as Togo President visits Israel

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received Togo’s President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe in Jerusalem yesterday to discuss the upcoming Africa-Israel summit that Togo will host in October.

54 African nations are slated to attend the summit, which will take place from October 23-27 in Togo’s capital, Lome.

Mr. Netanyahu is due to be the only non-Africa leader to deliver a speech at the conference.

The summit is also seen as an opportunity for Netanyahu to meet African leaders of numerous countries – some of whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations with – and to promote greater political and economic relations.

However several African states including Morocco and South Africa, along with the Palestinians, are seeking to disrupt the conference.

Netanyahu alluded to this in a cabinet meeting on Sunday, saying that “various pressures have been placed on the Togolese president to cancel the conference. These pressures are the best testimony to the success of our policy, of Israel’s presence in Africa”.

So far attempts by this bloc to discredit Israel in Africa appear to have been unsuccessful.  Today, Senegal and Guinea – both Muslim majority countries – are scheduled to present their respective letters of credence to President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony in Jerusalem, officially taking up their positions as non-resident ambassadors to Israel.

Last week, Cape Verde announced it will no longer continue to vote against Israel at the UN.

Under the motto “Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel,” Netanyahu has declared diplomatic outreach to Africa as one of his key foreign policy objectives.