African Nations Ready to Expand Ties with Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspects a guard of honour at the State House in Nairobi on July 5, 2016, on the second leg of his tour of sub-Saharan Africa. / AFP / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Jerusalem Post reports: African nations are willing  and ready to develop and expand their diplomatic and business relations with Israel, a spokesman for the ruling political party in the Ivory Coast said on Wednesday.

Joel N’guessan, an official in the Rally of the Republicans party, headed by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, said in Jerusalem on Wednesday that the historical cause of the rupture in relations between Israel and African states was a result of political pressure imposed on them by Arab countries who dominated the Islamic world in the 20th century.

Today, as that influence has waned, Israel is in a position to expand its diplomatic relations with African countries, but Jerusalem must show its intent by investing in the continent, he said.

“In order for Israel to be supported by African countries in the UN, it is important for Israel not only to restore diplomatic relations with Africa, but there must be within Israel an evolution of a diplomatic effort to create investment in Africa,” said N’guessan.

The official spoke during a press conference at the annual Feast of Tabernacles at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which has brought numerous government officials to Israel for the festival, along with 5,000 Christian pilgrims.

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