Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has declined a public request by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Uganda to open an Embassy in the contested city of Jerusalem.
Speaking at a press conference at the State House Entebbe on Monday 3rd, Netanyahu who has been on a one day visit to Uganda, said Israel was returning to Africa in a big way and as such Uganda should lead the way in opening up an Embassy in the contested city between Israel and Palestine.
In return, Israel would too open up an Embassy in Kampala. The Israeli Nairobi Embassy handles diplomatic affairs with Kampala.
“I have a simple suggestion that will have time to consider. You open an embassy in Jerusalem and I will open one in Kampala. We hope to do it in the near future,” Netanyahu asked Museveni.
However in responding to him, Museveni said the issue was very controversial which needs time for it to be studied first.
“If a friend says I want your embassy here, rather than there, I don’t see why we would refuse. We are really working on it. We are studying that,” Museveni said.
Last year, American President Donald Trump broke away from the world order and recognized Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Trump also ordered the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem stocking anger among the Palestine who see Israel as an invading force.
Palestinians occupy east Jerusalem and they regard it as the capital of their future state. Museveni thanked Netanyahu for being the first Israeli Prime Minister to ever visit Uganda.
He is the only Israel Prime Minister to visit Uganda and doing so more than once, shows the strong relations #Uganda and #Israel have. pic.twitter.com/BOQnh3MgwX
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) February 3, 2020
“He has done it a number of times, of course I have been to Israel a lot but it’s good that he has come when other Prime Ministers have not come. We have a very strong relationship with Israel in the field of agriculture and security,” said Museveni.
For his part, Netanyahu thanked Museveni for what he called a strong leadership and promised Israeli’s cooperation in terms of security and other bilateral relations. He also revealed that they had agreed that Uganda was to begin having direct flights to Israel at least once a week.
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Netanyahu is struggling for his political survival after failing twice to gunner enough votes in the Knesset for him to form a government. He was also recently indicted on charges of corruption and abuse of office and if he’s unable to win the next general election and therefore unable to force parliament to waiver the charges against him, he faces a jail sentence if convicted on those charges.