Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu to attend inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Kenya
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Kenya

According to a local Israel news outlet the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to fly to Nairobi next week to attend the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta according to the PM’s office.

Netanyahu will fly in Tuesday morning and leave later the same day after attending the ceremony to swear in Kenyatta, who has led the East African country since 2013 and won a controversial election last month, which some observers say was rigged.

The country’s opposition boycotted the rerun election, leading the incumbent to garner 98.25% of votes cast. Voter participation was at 38 percent.

Opposition groups that refuse to accept Kenyatta’s election victory are planning to hold an “alternative inauguration,” which might erupt into violence, observers of African politics said.

Israel sees Kenya as a key strategic partner in East Africa. The two countries cooperate in many areas, including in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

In July 2016, Netanyahu became the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Kenya. During the visit, Kenyatta pledged to help Israel gain observer status at the African Union. “We believe that there is need for us as a continent to once again to re-engage Israel on a more positive basis, with an understanding that our partnership can help make this world that much more secure,” Kenyatta said at a joint press conference with Netanyahu at Nairobi State House.