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Herzog hosts Zambian counterpart in Jerusalem

The leaders discussed ways to deepen bilateral trade and cooperation, as well as the threats posed by Iran.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog (right) hosts his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema in Jerusalem, Aug. 1, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog (right) hosts his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema in Jerusalem, Aug. 1, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog hosted his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The two men discussed ways to deepen bilateral trade and cooperation, as well as the threats posed by Iran.

“Economic success is anchored in trade and investments,” Hichilema said. “That is why I want to explore the opportunities within the relationship between us, in light of the tremendous experience that Israel has in the field of technology in agriculture, health and water and more.”

Hichilema noted that he completed his undergraduate studies at a school in Zambia built by Israel, saying, “This is just one example of our ongoing relationship over the years.”

The Zambian leader also on Tuesday planted an olive tree in a ceremony hosted by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael—Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF). The tree-planting took place at KKL-JNF’s Grove of Nations, located just below Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

“I am very delighted to visit Israel. The planting of the olive tree at the KKL-JNF forest moved me very deeply. We plant trees to preserve the globe and for future generations,” Hichilema said.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema plants an olive tree at the KKL-JNF’s Grove of Nations in Jerusalem, August 1, 2023. Photo by Rafi Ben Hakun.

On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met 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.”

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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