Israeli premier seeks to strengthen security ties with Ethiopia

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JOHANNESBURG, September 2 – During Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Israel on Sunday, his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu called for stronger security coordination between the two countries.

“We believe that we can offer some shared experience that we have garnered because of our unfortunate need to defend ourselves,” Netanyahu told Ahmed, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu praised the Horn of Africa leader as “one of the most important and influential leaders in Africa” as the Jewish state continues to try and build stronger relations with the African continent following a break in ties by some African nations in the 1960s due to Israel’s wars with its Arab neighbours and its links with the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

In 2016, the Israeli prime minister made the first visit of an Israeli head of government to Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union, which has one of the most dynamic economies in East Africa.

In addition to gaining a new security partner, Israel, which has over 140,000 Israel citizens of Ethiopian origin, sees Ethiopia as another market for business opportunities, including investment and innovation.

– African News Agency (ANA)