Head of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Mr. Yuli-Yoel Edelstein has called for the establishment of parliamentary groups between Nigeria and Israel.
Edelstein who told a high-powered Nigerian delegation of the National Assembly led by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara that both countries shared similarities, said the need for parliamentary groups and committees between both countries had become imperative.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Monday, who led a high-powered Nigerian delegation to the parliament of Israel Knesset, in Jerusalem, told the Israeli speaker that the visit was to explore avenues of cooperation between both parliaments.
A statement issued by Dogara’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, said the Reps Speaker held bilateral talks with his Israeli counterpart Mr. Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.
“I have come as head of a large and respectable delegation of parliament members. This is not a courtesy call, and I am convinced that this visit will give a significant push to the good relations between us and to the cooperation between the Knesset and the Nigerian parliament,” said Dogara.
On his part, Mr. Eldestein said Israel attributes great importance to “relations with Africa, especially with Nigeria. Our wish to promote and strengthen the ties between Knesset and Nigerian parliament stems directly from the relations established between two countries during the days of the ‘founding fathers’ of our states,” he said.
He pointed out that the two countries are connected in various spheres ‘like economy, and trade as well as in agriculture, water management, communication, renewable energy, security, and so on.’
“Our countries and the challenges we face are similar. Unfortunately, both must now deal with both terrorism and radical Islamism taking the lives of innocent civilians as a direct result of extremist religious incitement. It is a struggle which neither of our states can afford to lose,” he said.
Continuing, the Israeli parliamentary speaker expressed the hope of forging stronger ties with his Nigerian counterpart in the area of parliamentary functions.
“We hope to see the ties between our parliaments grow stronger as a result of the work of our parliamentary friendship groups, parliamentary committees and the Knesset administration.”
After being greeted by an honour guard, Dogara signed the Knesset guestbook in Chagall State Hall.
MK Yoav Kisch (Likud Party), chairman of the Israel-Nigeria Parliamentary Friendship Group, took part in the work meeting between Dogara and Edelstein.
The Knesset speaker informed his Nigerian counterpart that the visit was taking place on the day the Israeli parliament was marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister and Defence minister, Yitzhak Rabin.
It would be recalled that the two leaders had in August met on the sideline of the United Nations World Speakers of Parliament Conference organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Dogara was accompanied to Knesset by Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue, Simon Lalong Plateau, All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Boss Mustapha, Hon. Pally Eriese, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, Hon. Golu Timothy, Hon. Ahmed Yerima, Hon. Gideon Gwani and Hon. Cyril Maduabum.