President Goodluck Jonathan will today embark on holy pilgrimage to Israel.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
According to the statement, talks between the president’s delegation and Israeli government officials are expected to focus on the enhancement of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Israel in areas including trade, economic development, infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, communications, culture, education and tourism.
Also Jonathan is scheduled to meet with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas.
The president who will be accompanied on the trip by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, the Minister of Agriculture and Rual Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof. Viola Onwuliri, and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
While the president might meet and interact with some other Nigerians, who are already on pilgrimage to Israel, Abati said the reports he was leading 19 state governors and about 30,000 Nigerians to Israel was a misrepresentation of facts.
“Irrespective of President Jonathan’s visit, thousands of Nigerians visit Israel annually during the pilgrimage season which goes on for months and they will undoubtedly do so again between now and early next year.
“It is entirely fortuitous for some of these Nigerian pilgrims therefore that their visit to Israel this year will coincide with President Jonathan’s,” he said.
Jonathan is expected back in Abuja early next week.
Posted by SirVic for wetopup(News Laboratry)