Opening of the Israeli embassy in Rwanda.
(photo credit: PRESIDENCY OF RWANDA)
Israel opened its first embassy in Rwanda, as part of its drive to improve ties with African countries.
“I’m certain that the opening of an Israeli embassy in Rwanda will elevate, within a few years, our ties to Rwanda and the continent as a whole to a much higher level,” Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem said.
Rotem along with Israel’s new Ambassador to Rwanda Ron Adam are in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali for the opening. Adam already presented his credentials
to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in February.
In the coming months, Rwanda’s national airline, RwandAir, is slated to begin direct flights to Israel.
Israel’s new embassy in Rwanda is its 11th on the African continent, where Israel has full diplomatic relations with 41 out of 46 sub-Saharan African countries, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Israel and Rwanda initially established diplomatic ties in 1962, but Rwanda along with other African states severed those ties after the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
The two countries reestablished relations in 1994. Rwanda opening an embassy in Israel, then closed it six years later for budgetary reasons and then reopened it in 2015.
Rwanda often stands with Israel at the United Nations, where it is currently one of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council. Last month it abstained on four out of the five anti-Israeli resolutions, which the UNHRC approved at its 40th session in Geneva.
While in Rwanda, Rotem met with Kagame and Rwanda Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera. He is also expected to lay a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
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