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Israel, Zambia forge deals as Jerusalem pushes into Africa

“Africa is blossoming and so is the potential for relations between Israel and countries on the continent,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (right) meets with his Zambian counterpart Stanley Kakubo in Jerusalem, July 31, 2023. Photo by Avi Hayun/Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (right) meets with his Zambian counterpart Stanley Kakubo in Jerusalem, July 31, 2023. Photo by Avi Hayun/Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met in Jerusalem on Monday with his Zambian counterpart Stanley Kakubo, with the two signing several cooperation agreements.

“Africa is blossoming and so is the potential for relations between Israel and countries on the continent,” said Cohen, adding: “Zambia is an important nation for Israel in Africa, which is interested in strengthening relations with us.”

The top diplomats signed agreements to strengthen ties in the spheres of medicine, communications, agriculture and culture.

Last week, Cohen and his counterpart from the Ivory Coast, Kandia Camara, signed framework deals in the fields of agriculture, water and technology.

Cohen led a business delegation to the Israel-Ivory Coast Economic Forum in the West African nation.

The prior day, Cohen met with Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in Accra, in a bid to strengthen Israel’s position within the African Union.

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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