Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu at the ECOWAS Africa Israel Summit
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech at the ECOWAS Africa Israel Summit in Liberia Today 4thJune 2017.
Africa and Israel share a natural affinity. We have in many ways similar histories. Your nations toiled under foreign rule. You experienced horrific wars and slaughters, and you are still fighting to get out of the past into the future. Valiantly in determination and conviction, you won your independence. You healed the wounds of the past to chart a future of hope. This is very much as ours. Our people too were denied independence for far too long. Our people too suffered the indignity of bondage, slavery and dispossession. Our people too experienced unimaginable horrors of mass death and genocide. But we never gave up. We fought for our independence and won.
There is no official statement from Aso Rock on why Nigeria stayed away from the meeting
Nigeria was absent from the 51st ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government which kicked-off on Saturday, June 3.
The summit was held in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in attendance.
As at the press time, NAIJ.com checks reveal that there is no official statement from Aso Rock on why Nigeria stayed away from the meeting.
Morroco’s King Mohammed VI had canceled his trip to the summit due to the attendance of Netanyahu.
King Mohammed VI had been pushing for his country to join the West African bloc as a full member.
It is not clear if Nigeria's decision to stay away from the event is in solidarity with the Moraccan King whose closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari is an open secret.
Nigeria's former president, Olusegun Obasanjo was however in attendance. NAIJ.com cannot however ascertain if Obasanjo attended on behalf of the Nigerian government or his capacity as an elder statesman in the West African region.
Speaking at the summit, Netanyahu urged African leaders to partner with his country to build the continent’s capacity.
“I come here as an instruction of the simple truth, Israel is coming to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel. I believe in Africa, I believe in its potential, present and future.
“I believe in Africa...it is a national priority for us. Israel has the solutions for many African challenges,” he said.
Netanyahu also invited the leaders of the ECOWAS member-states to the Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October where he is expected to meet with the leaders of 25 African countries to discuss multilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe emerged as the new chairperson of ECOWAS, taking over from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.