Ambassador Sharon Bar-li with Ghanian president 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Foreign Ministry)
Israel may have lost Turkey, but it is gaining Ghana.
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After a 38-year
absence, Israel formally reopened its embassy in the Ghanaian capital of Accra
on Wednesday, a sign of the rapidly-developing ties with that west African
Ghana was the first African country to recognize Israel in 1956,
but – along with the vast majority of sub-Saharan African states with which
Israel developed close ties in the late 1950s and 1960s – broke off relations
following intensive Arab pressure after the Yom Kippur war in 1973.
were reestablished in the 1990s, and of late Ghana has been a preferred location
for Israeli businessmen looking to invest in western Africa.
be represented in Ghana by Sharon Bar-li, who presented her credentials last
week to Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills.
The decision to reopen
the embassy in Ghana was taken during a visit there in September 2009 by Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Foreign Ministry officials said this development was
part of an effort by Israel to place an emphasis on focusing more on fostering
ties with African countries. Ghana is expected to open an embassy in Israel in
the near future.
Israel’s embassy in Accra will be the country’s seventh
in Africa, the others are located in Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya,
Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.
In a related development, the Foreign
Ministry said Wednesday it will be sending medical assistance to Kenya to help
treat victims of a gas pipeline explosion in Nairobi on Monday that killed more
than 100 people and wounded scores more.
After the blast, Israel’s envoy
in Nairobi immediately turned to the Kenyatta National Hospital in the capital,
where most of the victims were being treated, and offered Israel’s
Most of the victims from the blast are in that hospital, and
the offer was accepted immediately.
The aid includes 360 kilograms of
medication to treat burns, bandages, IV sets, various medical ointments and
painkillers. The assistance is due to arrive in Kenya on Thursday.