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Israeli PM Netanyahu in Uganda to boost ties

Benjamin Netanyahu arrived to a rainswept Entebbe airport accompanied by his wife, Sara, before heading to meet Museveni, an AFP photographer said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and his wife Sara Netanyahu (L), arrive at the State House in Entebbe, in Uganda on 3 February 2020. Picture: AFP

ENTEBBE - Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Uganda on Monday for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni, on a trip to boost ties with the East African nation.

Netanyahu arrived to a rainswept Entebbe airport accompanied by his wife, Sara, before heading to meet Museveni, an AFP photographer said.

Netanyahu last visited Uganda in July 2016 to mark the 40th anniversary of a hostage rescue at Entebbe airport, in which his brother Yonatan died.

As he left Israel, Netanyahu said that he was "strengthening our relationship" with Uganda, and that he hoped to "have very good news for the State of Israel" from the trip.

"I am now on another visit to Africa, this is my fifth visit in about three and a half years," Netanyahu told reporters.

"These are ties that are very important in the political, economic, security and other fields."

In recent years, Israel has boosted its links with African nations, improving ties following a difficult period when many post-independence African leaders sided with Israel's Arab rivals, and viewed Israel’s support for apartheid South Africa with intense suspicion.

As Israeli expertise in military and agricultural technology has developed, the opportunity for trade with Africa has grown.

Israel currently has diplomatic relations with 39 out of 47 sub-Saharan African states.