Israel has called on Nigeria and other countries of the world to open their embassies in Jerusalem as a mark of respect to its choice of state capital.
Barnea Hassid, Director, Africa Department 2, West and Central Africa of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the call Wednesday during the programme of first Journalists Roundtable hosted by the Embassy of Israel in Abuja.
The roundtable was organised by the embassy to brief the media on the various initiatives by the Israeli government aimed at contributing to development in Africa.
“They should respect our choice. Tel Aviv is not the capital of Israel. Our choice of capital is Jerusalem. We call on our friends including Nigeria to come to Jerusalem. It will be very much appreciated,” the envoy stated.
According him, Israel has the capacity and is able and willing to collaborate with Nigeria in the areas of agriculture, military and technology among others field where the country has comparative advantage, adding that Nigeria is very important in world affairs and therefore the need for enhanced relationship between the two countries.
On peace with its neighbours, Hassid said Israel has done everything possible to be at peace with countries around it but has at all times received hostile gestures from them especially Palestine whose leaders continue to spread extremist ideologies through hate speeches, even as Israel tries to assist Palestinian people through humanitarian gestures, adding however that Israel will continue to defend itself and its people.
He described terrorists as cowards that are afraid to fight conventional military but resort to soft targets saying that Israel was ready to ready to work with Nigeria or any country to defeat terrorism.
Earlier, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Israeli embassy, Nadav Goren said his country has been assisting many countries in Africa through the Agency for International Development Cooperation also known as MASHAV which he said has been active throughout the developing world since the 1950s.
Nadav said that the agency has been assisting countries to alleviate problems of hunger, disease, and poverty by means of technical training and technology transfer, adding that trainings have been given to citizens of many African countries so that developing countries can find their own solution to issues like economic potential, natural resources and regional priorities.
Currently, he said, there are about 275,000 experts and professionals in different fields of life working round the clock to see people acquire training and build their capacity in community health, medicine, agriculture, education and gender equality among others with 200 Nigerians benefitting in 2017 alone.