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Israeli PM Netanyahu flies in, fails to attend Uhuru’s inauguration

By Mercy Asamba | Published Tue, November 28th 2017 at 14:33, Updated November 28th 2017 at 17:56 GMT +3
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Kenya on Tuesday for an official visit. He is scheduled to meet 10 presidents who attended President Uhuru Kenyatta's inauguration.

"I am now leaving for my third visit to Africa within a year-and-a-half. I will meet with re-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and with 10 African leaders as well. Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa also by forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with,” said Netanyahu before departing from Israel.

Netanyahu was among leaders who had been invited to attend President Uhuru inauguration. He had confirmed that he would be in attendance but the Prime Minister was a no-show  by the time the ceremony was over at around 2:30PM on Tuesday.

The Israeli PM had talked of the strong ties he had made with the African nations as this marks his third trip to the continent in the past two years.

“Delegations from four African countries have opened in Israel in the past two years and I hope that by the end of the day I will be able to announce the opening of a new Israeli embassy in an African country and the hand is still extended," he added.

Netanyahu is set to meet leaders of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia among other senior officials.

According to Israel media, a source familiar with Netanyahu’s travel plans said there were some concerns over his safety in a massive crowd. Hebrew media reports said the Shin Bet security service had therefore not green-lighted an appearance by Netanyahu at Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium out of concern for his safety.