Israel on Wednesday called for a close working relationship with Nigeria and Africa at large in the areas of security, agriculture and trade, to achieve meaningful development.
Mr Barnea Hassid, Director, Africa Department 2, West and Central Africa, made the call in his keynote address at the ‘‘First Journalist Roundtable,’’ discussion, organised by Israel embassy in Nigeria, in Abuja.
He said that although Israel had established relationship with some African countries since 1948, the number of Israeli embassies in continent had reduced from 30 to 10 over the years.
According to Hassid, the call for bilateral relations with Nigeria, in particular, is to share the know-how and technologies which provided basis for Israel’s rapid development.
‘‘This is where Israel feels it has comparative advantage, especially in security, agriculture and trade, which are areas that are relevant to Nigeria.
‘‘We know Nigeria is an important country in terms of influencing development in Africa, so for us it is necessary to have bilateral relationship, to further achieve desired goals.’’
He said 30 Nigerians have so far benefitted, between January to June, with trainings in various fields offered by his country while the total 200 have benefitted since its inception.
Speaking, Mr Nadav Goren, Deputy Chief of Mission to Israeli Embassy in Nigeria, said that the roundtable was to further strengthen ties with Nigeria using the media as platform to chart a common goal.
‘‘We really want to collaborate with the media as a means to achieve the target,’’ Goren said.
The roundtable discussion was part of activities to mark the 60th anniversary since the establishment of the MASHAV policy initiative.