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Netanyahu woos West African leaders at Liberia summit

Netanyahu (centre) with West African leaders

Monrovia, Liberia | AFP | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia, where they hailed peacekeeping efforts in the region but warned about threats to stability.

Netanyahu, who had visited east Africa in July 2016, vowed that they had “no better partner” than his country after he was received by Liberian President and outgoing head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel. I believe in Africa. I believe in its potential, present and future. It is a continent on the rise,” said the Israeli leader.

“Africans are seizing the future. Israel wants to seize this future with you. You truly have no better partner for this mission than Israel,” he added.

Sirleaf hailed the contribution of ECOWAS forces in restoring peace in her country, wracked by a bloody civil war from 1989-2003.

“This marks a turning point in the post-conflict recovery in the reconstruction of our country,” she said. “Many ECOWAS citizens made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for the uninterrupted peace we continue to enjoy.

But she warned “Today, terrorist attacks are endangering the stability in our regions.”

On Saturday a Gambian protester died of gunshot wounds after being shot as supporters of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh clashed with ECOWAS forces, deployed in the country since January.

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