Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
(L-R) Ghana's Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for bilateral talks in Jerusalem on Monday at a meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Netanyahu also holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio and serves as Israel’s Foreign Affairs minister.)

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Kulanu MK Michael Oren, a native English-speaker originally from the United States, was also present at the meeting as well. Oren is a former ambassador to the United States and a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu and Botchwey “discussed economic cooperation between Israel and Ghana and talked about the business sector, as well as other possibilities for strengthening cooperation between the two countries”, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office. He also “welcomed Ghana’s intention to assist Israel in international forums, and invited President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to visit Israel in 2019”, according to the release.

Botchwey, who is on a three-day visit to Israel, is also slated to meet with the chair of the Lobby for Relations between Israel and African Countries, MK Avraham Neguise.

The Ghana foreign minister is scheduled to visit the Western Wall during a tour the Old City of Jerusalem. She will also tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center, where she will lay a wreath and sign the guest book. In addition, Botchwey is also scheduled for a tour of the Knesset.

Ghana was the first black African nation to establish diplomatic ties with Israel in 1956, prior to independence. Those relations became somewhat complex with the overthrow of Ghana’s first president. Ghana and Israel renewed direct diplomatic relations in 2011, and have since cooperated on projects in various sectors including health and education.

Israeli Ambassador to Ghana Shani Cooper, the second Israeli resident ambassador to the country in 42 years, presented her credentials to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra, Ghana this past October 16.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.