President Paul Kagame is the first leader of an African country to address the influential pro-Israel lobby’s annual D.C. conference.
For the first time ever, the leader of an African country will speak at the annual conference of AIPAC, the influential pro-Israeli lobby. On Thursday, AIPAC published a list of confirmed speakers for the conference, which will take place next weekend in Washington, D.C., and one of those featured on the list is Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Haaretz has learned that Kagame, who is expected to appear in person before the conference crowd, will be the first African national leader to speak before the conference. Kagame, who has been ruling Rwanda since the year 2000, is known as a strong ally of Israel, who has visited the Jewish state multiple times, and also hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu on a state visit to his country last July.
Kagame has stated in the past that he looks at Israel as an example of how to revive a nation following a genocide. In recent years, security and economic cooperation between the two countries has increased, and Rwanda has also become involved in a controversial agreement with Israel, in which Israel sends asylum seekers from different African countries to Rwanda.
- Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda.