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Israel PM Netanyahu in another visit to Uganda

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 1st February 2020 04:26 PM

Netanyahu last visited Uganda in 2016, during the 40th anniversary of the Israeli anti-terror raid on Entebbe that left his brother Yona dead.

Israel PM Netanyahu in another visit to Uganda

Benjamin-Netanyahu.jpg

Netanyahu last visited Uganda in 2016, during the 40th anniversary of the Israeli anti-terror raid on Entebbe that left his brother Yona dead.

 
KAMPALA - Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected in Uganda for a one-day working visit. This is the second time Netanyahu is visiting Uganda as a Prime Minister in a period of four years. 
 
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo confirmed the visit, saying: "He will be here on Monday on a one-day official visit at his request. The trip is being coordinated by director general of the External Security Organisation Joseph Ocwet. He is coming with a big delegation of up to 45 people and a big press team."
 
Netanyahu last visited Uganda in 2016, during the 40th anniversary of the Israel anti-terror raid on Entebbe Airport that left his brother Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu dead. 
 
Yonatan was commanding the operation was the only Israel soldier to die in the rescue mission.
 
In 2016, Netanyahu said his visit signalled "dramatic changes in the relationship between Africa and Israel: "Africa is a continent on the rise. After many decades I can say Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel."
 
The current visit also comes at a time when the two countries are set to mark 26 years since the Uganda-Israel relations were renewed after 22 years break that was caused by the Idi Amin regime.
 
Before becoming Prime Minister Netanyahu had visited Uganda twice.
 
The two visits came in 2005 and again in 2009, during which he dedicated a plaque in his brother's memory on the wall of the old terminal building at the airport.
 
In 2016 Netanyahu was the first sitting Israeli prime minister to travel to Africa since Yitzhak Rabin visited Casablanca in 1994.
 
The Israeli embassy in Uganda closed in 1972 and ended all diplomatic relations. Ties were renewed on July 29, 1994 when the Israel ambassador to Kenya, Dr Aye Oded, signed an agreement with President Museveni to revive diplomatic relations.
 
For the last two decades, the political and economic relations between the two countries have grown. 
 
The visit comes against a backdrop of media reports that Uganda plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
 
However, the permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs, Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, dismissed the reports as false.
 
He said although Uganda and Israel enjoy cordial bilateral relations just like the country does with other countries around the world, Kampala does not have a mission in Israel or Jerusalem.
 
Israel has since opened a visa processing office located at Kampala Casino, 4th Floor.
 
Because of this good relationship several Israeli companies operate in the fields of construction, infrastructure, Hi-tech, communications and IT, agriculture, water management and other sectors.
 
Annually, Israel hosts up to 200 Ugandan agriculture students who attend classes and work on Israel firms. They earn money and upon graduation return to Uganda with modern agricultural skills.
 

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