ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Israel’s only Ethiopian-born lawmaker expressed disappointment here Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to the East African country did not include a tour of its Jewish institutions or meetings with representatives of the local Jewish community.
On Thursday morning, MK Avraham Neguise was sitting in the Israeli delegation’s hotel together with two local Jewish leaders, Melese Sedeto from Addis Ababa and Ambanesh Tekeba from Gondar, hoping for a last-minute meeting with the prime minister. But Netanyahu had already left the hotel on his way to meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Mulatu Teshome.
“Yes, I am disappointed because I feel that [Jewish community institutions] could have been on the itinerary,” said Neguise, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party. It was understandable if a visit at a Jewish site was not planned for practical reasons, he allowed. “But it is possible to meet a delegation of the leadership of the Jewish community here (at the hotel). Two or three members of the community. He can meet a delegation.”
Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Ethiopia, the native country of a significant segment of Israeli society.
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