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Cohen presses Israel’s position in African Union during Ghana visit

The visit comes a day after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen opened the first Israel-Ghana business forum.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (left) meets with the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo in Accra. July 26, 2023. Credit: Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (left) meets with the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo in Accra. July 26, 2023. Credit: Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met on Wednesday with President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo and his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in Accra.

The meetings, focusing on strengthening Israel’s position within the African Union, come a day after Cohen opened the first Israel-Ghana business forum, with the participation of companies in the fields of water, agriculture and project development.

“The visit to Ghana is expected to deepen cooperation between the countries and in the international arena. Promoting international Israeli aid activity along with deepening relations with Ghana in the field of border security, water management and health,” according to a statement from Cohen’s office.

“Strengthening the ties between Israel and Africa will improve Israel’s international standing, promote the Israeli economy and help deal with the continent’s challenges,” added the missive.

Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana would “always be a friend of the State of Israel and we will support its position as an observer in the African Union.”

He added, “I warmly welcome the activity of Israeli companies in Ghana and we will continue to encourage more and more cooperation between the countries for the benefit of the nations.” 

Botchwey said that the two-day official visit “serves as a testament of the strong bilateral relations between our two countries and hopeful that the visit would further deepen our bilateral relations.”

Earlier this month, Cohen met with a senior official of an African Muslim country with no diplomatic ties to the Jewish state.

The development occurred in the context of Israel’s push to expand the Abraham Accords and counter Iranian influence in Africa. The Foreign Ministry told Ynet News that “normalization contacts are being held with several African countries, including Niger, Mali and Mauritania.”

The meeting took place during a 10-hour visit to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi at the invitation of the African nation’s president, William Ruto, and foreign minister, Alfred Mutua. While there, the top Israeli diplomat attended the African Union’s Mid-Year Coordination Meeting.

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