JPOST: 16 African country lawmakers discuss strengthening ties with Israel

Lawmakers from 16 African countries participated in a two-day Zoom conference this week hosted by Israel Allies Caucus to discuss strengthening ties with Israel.

Those who participated in the conference are chairmen or members of the Israel Allies Caucus in their respective countries.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin and Deputy Speaker of the Zambian National Assembly Mwimba Malama opened the conference with remarks.

Levin thanked participants saying, "Your consistent daily efforts standing for Israel and for our common values is what ensures the strength of our ties and allows us to continue having a positive impact together.”

Malama touched on the changes in Israel and Africa's relationship over time saying that the relationship has not always been strong which means that "it is therefore gratifying to note that in recent years, a number of sub-Saharan countries have re-established diplomatic relations with Israel."

Malama went on to say that "the State of Israel has made remarkable contributions to world development in general and Africa in particular. I have no doubt in my mind that as the Israel - Africa alliance continues to strengthen, the continent of Africa, and Zambia in particular, will greatly benefit in sectors such as agriculture, security, science and technology.”

Israel's ambassador to Zambia, Gershon Kedar emphasized the number of African countries who vote against Israel in the UN despite the countries' support of Israel. “Israel has many good relations with individual African countries, but it is time to turn these bilateral relationships into a multilateral one by strengthening Israel’s ties with Africa as a whole in international forums," said Kedar."

It is essential for African parliamentarians to reflect the voices of their constituents and change the current policy of voting against Israel in the UN and other bodies as well as allow for Israel to have an observer status in the African Union.”

The Israel Allies Foundation coordinates the work of 50 Israel allies caucuses around the world to mobilize political support for Israel. The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus are included in the network.

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