Mr Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel has called for more robust and improved relations between the country and Nigeria. This was revealed when the Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, Enoch Duchi, presented his letters of credence in his office recently in Israel.
A statement by the Nigerian Mission in Israel said the president said the two countries need to do more in six key areas. They include education, science, agriculture, health and terrorism. Rivlin who acknowledged the potentials of Nigeria in the African continent solicited for support on Israel’s quest for an observer status at the Africa Union.
The president also expressed delight on the appointment and subsequent posting of an Ambassador to the country after years. He further expressed the belief that the relations between the two countries would improve more.
Duchi in his response thanked the president for the warm reception and conveyed the greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari to him and the people of the State of Israel. The envoy who spoke on the existing relations between Nigeria and Israel called for more collaboration in agriculture, counter-terrorism and trade.
Duchi expressed willingness to work to improve and strengthen the current state of relations between the two countries during his tenure in Israel. Nigeria and Israel did not establish diplomatic relations at Ambassadorial level until the early 1990s. This was due to the uneasy relations between the two countries over the Arab-Isreali conflict and Nigeria’s position on the plight of the Palestinians.
Relations have since been put on an even keel and have blossomed to cover many areas of mutual benefit such as the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other holy sites in Israel. Others include economic, political and security relations.