Rattled by Iran President’s tour of Africa, Israel sends FM to Kenya to boost ties

2023-07-17 17:12:32
Rattled by Iran President’s tour of Africa, Israel sends FM to Kenya to boost ties

Disturbed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raesi’s successful Africa tour and Tehran’s growing clout in the continent, Israel has sent its foreign minister Eli Cohen to Kenya to meet with a number of African officials.

Cohen’s office claimed in a statement that his visit was intended to boost ties with Africa amid “the Iranian attempt to expand its activities on the continent.”

Cohen, who was on an official trip to attend a biannual coordination meeting of the African Union, met with the leader of an unnamed African county that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, on the sidelines of the midyear summit, Hebrew-language media reported on Monday.

The regime’s foreign ministry claimed that Israel engaged in “normalization contacts with several African countries including Niger, Mali, and Mauritania.”

The Israeli foreign minister also met with Kenyan Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua and other unnamed African diplomats and officials, his office said.

Cohen accused Iran of violation of its nuclear deal, claiming Kenya’s membership on the board of the [UN’s] International Atomic Energy Agency allows it to influence the so-called “international supervision of Iran.”

Last week, President Raeisi visited Kenya and Uganda and met with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa who urged nations targeted by Western sanctions to band together.

The two presidents signed “a record” 12 agreements on topics ranging from energy to telecommunications, Mnangagwa said. These will help Zimbabwe access innovation and technology from Iran and envisage the creation of a tractor factory to support agricultural mechanization, he added.

The two countries also signed cooperation agreements for energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications as well as research, science and technology projects.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kana’ani has described President Raeisi’s continental tour as “a new turning point” which could bolster economic and trade ties with African nations.


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