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Buhari hails Nigeria, Israel bilateral ties

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Buhari hails Nigeria, Israel bilateral ties

President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Israel. The President stated this on yesterday while receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Mr. Shimon Ben-Shosan at the presidential villa, Abuja. He noted that diversity would remain a source of strength for the development of the country.

The President, who said Nigeria and Israel had enjoyed cordial bilateral relations, said many Nigerian Christians looked forward to performing pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel. ‘‘I congratulate you on your appointment as Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria. Enjoy your stay in Nigeria and take time to go round to see the beauty and diversity of the country,’’ the President told the Israeli ambassador. Responding, the ambassador congratulated President Buhari on his re-election, thanking the Nigerian government for extending an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister to attend the Democracy Day celebrations on June 12. ‘‘Next year will be 60 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Israel, and the last time a Prime Minister of Israel visited Nigeria was in 1958. ‘‘My dream is to bring my Prime Minister and President to visit Nigeria and for President Buhari to visit Israel.

That will be historic for us,’’ Ben- Shoshan said. Also receiving Letters of Credence of the Sierra Leonean High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Solomon Gembeh, President Buhari said both countries had a strong and stable relationship borne out of shared history and decades of cooperation. President Buhari said he looked forward to continue working with President Julius Maada Bio to further strengthen the relations between both countries, emphasizing that both of them shared a common historical background as former military Heads of State who later became civilian President. The President lauded the resilience of the Sierra Leonean people in overcoming the tragedy of the 2017 mudslide in the West African country.

The Sierra Leonean High Commissioner thanked Nigeria for its steadfast brotherly support to his country, saying ‘‘during ECOMOG, Nigerian soldiers bled and died for us.’’ ‘‘During the Ebola crisis, the mudslide, you have always been there for us. Nigeria has always been a big brother to us,’’ he said.

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