Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The two leaders signed a joint statement focusing on water and agricultural issues, promoting cooperation and establishing a joint bilateral committee.
Following a private talk, their delegations were invited to an expanded meeting to discuss security and the fight against terrorism as well as bilateral cooperation on a range of issues including: cyber, energy, agriculture, water, irrigation and public health.
Netanyahu said Kenya and Israel have had a close relationship for decades, remarking that Uhuru’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, demonstrated that friendship in helping Israel rescue its hostages during the raid in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976.
“This is something that has left a deep imprint on Israel. The people of Israel are grateful for that. And I’m personally grateful for that.
“Israel is willing and prepared to work with African countries in our common battle against militant Islamic terrorism,” Netanyahu said as he went into talks with Kenyatta.
“I have to say that more and more African countries recognize what you recognize – that Israel is a unique partner against this extremism,” he said.
The Kenyan leader said “we both live in challenging neighborhoods with similar security concerns and the cooperation between our two governments since the time of our independence has been formidable.”
He said he hoped his visit would further strengthen ties with Israel.
Netanyahu elaborated on the close relationship, saying: “We have since developed our relationship in so many areas and it’s a growing relationship.” He added, “We speak regularly on the phone. We try in many ways to improve our relationship and bring it to new heights in so many areas.”
President Reuven Rivlin also met with Kenyatta Tuesday morning, hosting an official welcome ceremony where he declared Israeli support and solidarity for Kenya.
“Israel stands together with Kenya against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam, as they murder innocent men, women, and children from all religions and nations,” he said.