Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe Wednesday evening and made the following remarks at the start of their meeting:
"Togo is very important to us and Africa is very important to us. We have a great relationship, a great friendship. And we are seeking to intensify our cooperation and our friendship for the continued success of Togo and also for the continued improvement and furthering of Israel's friendship with your country.
Your visit comes at a very important time for Israel's relations with Africa. I recently came from a visit to four African countries where I met the leaders of seven African nations. It was a very successful visit. And I must say that I think the sky is the limit in all areas, I mean: water, agriculture, technology, health, education, tourism, security and every other field.
I look forward to replicating the same thing in West Africa. I can confide in you that I spoke about this to your brother-in-law, who is an important figure in ECOWAS. And I'd like to talk to you about our mutual relations, but also about how Togo can further assist us in the great return to Africa. I think it's long overdue. And it's important for the countries of Africa and for Israel.
I want to express our deep gratitude for Togo's position in the international forums. You have been there consistently friendly to us and you stood up not only for Israel, you stood up for the truth time and time again. We remember our friends and we appreciate them. And in this spirit we receive you, our great friend, in Jerusalem.
The person you see there, the statue, is the founder of modern Zionism, the rebirth of the Jewish national movement that made it possible for the Jews to re-gather in our ancestral homeland and to found a Jewish state. His name was Theodor Herzl and he is like a modern Moses. But very few people know that Herzl said, after I finish my battle to liberate my people, I will devote my life to liberate the people of Africa. Well, the people of Africa are liberated. And now we have the Jewish state that Herzl envisioned and the independent states of Africa. And we join hands to secure our common future of prosperity, of security, of peace."