President Mnangagwa met Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz at the just-ended UN General Assembly, the first such high-level meeting between the two nations in 20 years, with the latter inviting the Zimbabwean leader to visit Israel.
The meeting, which was held before the President addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday was part of several meetings he had on the sidelines of the world gathering to strengthen Zimbabwe’s relations with other countries and institutions.
Mr Katz expressed delight at meeting the Zimbabwean leader and said relations between the two countries were entering a new era.
“During my visit to the #UNGA I met and shook hands with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and invited him to visit Israel,” he wrote on Twitter.
“This was the first high level meeting between Israeli and Zimbabwean officials for over 20 years. A sign of a new chapter in our relations.”
Writing on his Twitter handle @edmnangagwa, the President also wished Jewish people around the world a happy New Year.
The Jewish New Year was celebrated on Sunday.
“Wishing our Jewish friends around the world, a happy new year. I was happy to talk with Israeli Foreign Minister @Israel Katz ahead of my speech at the UNGA.
“We are working towards cooperative and friendly relations with all nations of the world for the benefit of our people,” said President Mnangagwa.
The meeting between President Mnangagwa and the Israeli envoy dovetails into Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement efforts to ensure the country takes its place in the community of nations.
Zimbabwe could benefit a lot from Israel’s progress in agricultural mechanisation and other scientific advances.
Israel is increasingly its geopolitical influence, with growing relations with countries such as China and Russia.
Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hailed “rapidly growing” relations with the Asian giant. Earlier in the month, Russian President Vladmir Putin said he was satisfied with “new quality” in cooperation with Israel.
During the just-ended UN General Assembly meeting, President Mnangagwa also held several high-level meetings with Commonwealth Secretary General Mrs Patricia Scotland, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, African Development Bank (AfDB) executives, American politicians and businesspeople, global media gurus, representatives from the World Food Programme (WFP) and convened a dinner with investors in the health sector.
Zimbabwe and Israel have had diplomatic relations since 1993.
Last year, Israel’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Gershon Kedar presented his credentials to President Mnangagwa and expressed his country’s willingness to assist Zimbabwe in agriculture and water management.
Ambassador Kedar said Zimbabwe could benefit from his country’s expertise in agriculture.
Israel has become one of the world’s leading exporters of horticultural produce despite being located in a largely desert area.