Ugandan president Yoweri K. Museveni welcomed today Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to stay in the land-locked central African country for no more than 24 hours. Today’s visit is PM Netanyahu’s “fifth trip to Africa in the last three-and-a-half years” and, in his own words, is meant to signal that “Israel is returning to Africa, big time.” During the visit, the two heads of state are expected “to discuss matters of mutual interest.”
Through his Twitter account, PM Netanyahu expressed strong optimism about the trip, stating his “hope that at the end of today, we will have very good news for Israel.” Israeli officials also signalled to Israeli media that the visit has a wider scope going beyond bilateral Israeli-Ugandan relations. In fact, Israeli media suggests that in addition to meeting with Ugandan president Museveni, PM Netanyahu will hold discussions with what Israeli officials called “regional leaders.” Attempts at publishing further details on the visit, and the potentially on the identity of the said regional leaders, by the Israeli media were reportedly met with prohibition from Israeli military censors of fear that “those leaders face a domestic backlash and cancel on [PM Netanyahu].”
To the writing of these lines, both Israeli and Ugandan officials appear to have remained tight-lipped on the regional scope of PM Netanyahu’s visit. We may need to wait until “the end of today” to get a sense of what “good news” mean for PM Netanyahu.