Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the joint statements today, with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni:
“Thank you, Mr. President. What a pleasure for my wife and me and our entire delegation to see you and the First Lady, Janet Museveni, the Prime Minister, ministers of your cabinet and your delegation.
This is a real friendship. This is my fifth visit to Uganda in over—it began many decades ago, and our first meeting, Mr. President, which I’ll never forget.
Every visit for me is highly moving. It stirs the chords of my soul. We landed today at the, right next to the terminal at Entebbe where my brother fell and where you put up a memorial honoring his memory and the memory of the others slain in the great rescue. I’ll never forget your friendship. Israel will never forget your friendship.
This is my fifth visit to Africa in a little more than three years. Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel in a big way.
It began here in Uganda, and it continues in Uganda under your strong leadership, the way that you have put Africa and Uganda on the world stage.
I’m thankful very much, Mr. President, for your help for Israel in our efforts to increase our cooperation with African countries. That is something of great, great value to Israel, and we deeply appreciate it.
We also, as you said, cooperate directly in many fields—in agriculture and education, in innovation. The only thing we’ve been unable to replicate in Israel is the depth of the greenery here in Africa. It’s so beautiful, it’s so lush, and it’s so comforting. But what is comforting and what is ripening is our cooperation in many, many fields. We’re open to do more, including in cyber.
And let me say: there are two things that we want to, very much to achieve, and we discussed in this visit. One is direct flights from Israel to Uganda—direct flights, because that will enable our friendship to flourish. And second, I have a simple suggestion that you’ll have time to consider, Mr. President, my friend. You open an embassy in Jerusalem; I’ll open an embassy in Kampala. And we hope to do this in the near future.
In all other ways, there is a stark bond between us. You’re a man of the Bible. I’ll never forget your visit in Jerusalem, when you met my late father, the historian. And you spoke about the Bible and the roots of our common heritage. And I want to thank you for this long, long friendship. “
Ugandan President Museveni responded regarding the embassy:
“If a friend says, I want your embassy here, rather than there, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. We are studying that.”
Image Source: GPO