Peres goes tribal for African visitor
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Clothes for a king

Peres goes tribal for African visitor

President given ceremonial attire by Ashanti leader as two discuss cooperation between Israel and Ghana

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Peres with the Ghanian delegation in Jerusalem Sunday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)
Peres with the Ghanian delegation in Jerusalem Sunday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

The King of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana visited President Shimon Peres on Sunday, during his first visit to Israel. The two discussed possible cooperation between Israel and Ghana, and the king presented Peres with a ceremonial dress.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the king of the largest tribe in Ghana, which consists of some 12 million people. The Cambridge graduate arrived at the meeting dressed in the colorful tribal dress, and was shaded by an assistant carrying a parasol.

The king presented the Israeli president with a traditional multi-colored garment, decorated with symbols of good luck and success. A second gift given to Peres was a stool with a silver porcupine, an animal symbolizing prosperity.

The king expressed his tribe’s and country’s condolences over the lethal terror attack in Bulgaria last week.

Peres with the Ghanian delegation in Jerusalem Sunday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)
Peres with the Ghanian delegation in Jerusalem Sunday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

“We are with the state of Israel and the families of the victims.” Osei Tutu II said, adding that he knows Peres is “a man of peace. It is your hope and you work to try and achieve it.”

There are many ways for Israel and Ghana to work together, the king said, noting that his country was one of the leading African countries when it came to financial development.

“Last year Ghana experienced 14.6 percent growth,” and that could continue now that it has started to utilize newly found oil reserves, he said.

Peres and the king spoke about the options of cooperating in a number of fields, including medicine, water technology, communications and infrastructure. The tribal leader said he and his countryfolk looked at Israel as a success story, and they hoped to learn from it.

Ghana “welcomes Israelis who want to invest” and do business, the king said. “We have much to learn from you,” he told Peres.

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