Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Malawi’s Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka announced in a joint statement Tuesday that Malawi will become the first African country to establish an embassy in Jerusalem.
“In the meeting that we just had the minister gave me a message from Malawi President Chakwera. The Malawi President has decided to open an embassy in Israel and establish it in Jerusalem,” said Ashkenazi.
Mkaka called Malawi’s decision a “bold and significant step.”
“We both agreed that there is need for growing partnership and cooperation between the two countries,” said Mkaka.
“I look forward to your embassy opening soon and I’m sure that more African leaders will follow this decision,” said Ashkenazi.
Malawi plans to open the embassy by summer 2021.
Currently, neither country has an embassy in the other, and they maintain their relationship through representative offices in Nairobi, Kenya.
Malawi and Israel went on to discuss Iranian influence in the region, and Israel asked Malawi to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization as part of their cooperative relationship.
“The Ayatollah in Tehran must stop the military nuclear program and stop supporting terrorism,” said Ashkenazi.
Mkaka also congratulated Israel on its peace agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and called the agreements “integral in the peaceful transformation of the Middle East.”
The Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, Kosova, and Serbia are also considering opening embassies in Jerusalem.