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Malawi Vows to be First African State with an Embassy in Jerusalem

November 4, 2020

by: Ilse Strauss

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The flag of Malawi

Wednesday, 4 November 2020 | Malawi’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka, touched down in Israel yesterday, carrying a message from his president to Israel and her people.

“Malawi will be the first African country to establish its embassy in Jerusalem,” Mkaka told his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi.

The southeastern African nation is one of the sole states on the often troubled continent that has enjoyed continuous diplomatic relations with Israel. Despite the warm ties, however, Malawi has never had an embassy in the Jewish state—a situation Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera now intends to rectify, Mkaka vowed.

And instead of toeing the politically correct line and opting for a spot in Tel Aviv, Malawi will take the “bold and significant step” to establish its mission in Jerusalem by next summer, making it the third embassy in the City of Gold after the US and Guatemala. 

“This important statement testifies to the depth of relations between Israel and Malawi, and will lead to their continued strengthening of the cordial relations between the two nations,” Ashkenazi said in a joint statement between Jerusalem and Lilongwe.

“The city of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital, will be a bridge of peace to the entire world and I call on other countries to follow Malawi’s example and transfer their embassies to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” Ashkenazi continued.

Jerusalem and Lilongwe’s warm relations date back to decades before Malawi’s independence in 1964. Nyasaland, as Malawi was called pre-independence, offered persecuted Jews a safe haven during the terrible years of the Holocaust. The reborn State of Israel returned the favour by offering Malawi aid and assistance, particularly in the field of agriculture.

Ashkenazi reiterated Israel’s commitment to prosperity building in Malawi and vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries. An Israeli development expert, he said, would be posted to Lilongwe, while MASHAV, the Foreign Ministry’s development agency, will introduce development courses for Malawi.

“We will help Malawi build a better future, for the next generation,” Ashkenazi said.

Posted on November 4, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 4, 2020)

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