Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose country is being rocked by the Islamic terrorism of Boko Haram, met Sunday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a private, two-day Christian pilgrimage to the country.
Citing the private nature of the visit, the Prime Minister’s Office did not divulge anything about the meeting.
Due in no small part to the common threat the Islamic terrorists pose to both countries, Israel and Nigeria have forged close ties in recent years. In May, for instance, Netanyahu offered Nigeria aid in searching for the 276 missing schoolgirls, assistance that Nigeria accepted.
Also, Israel provided Nigerian authorities with medical supplies following a Boko Haram attack against three churches on Christmas Day in 2011 that killed dozens.
Nigeria is a member of the US Security Council, and will be a member until the end of 2015, something that could be significant if and when the Palestinians seek a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines and Israel would look for seven votes in the Council it can count on to either vote against or abstain, thereby militating against the need for the US to use its veto.
Jonathan, who was here on a similar private visit in October 2013 and met both Netanyahu and then president Shimon Peres, flew to Israel on a private jet, accompanied by an entourage of some 20 Nigerian political and religious leaders.
In addition to the meeting with Netanyahu, Jonathan visited the Western Wall, as well as visiting Christian holy sites and Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel.
Jonathan’s visit comes some four months before elections in Nigeria, where he is expected to seek reelections.sign up to our newsletter