According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Reuben Abati, the President will also meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset.

Talks between President Jonathan’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.

The statement stated further that the President is also scheduled to meet with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas.

President Jonathan who will be accompanied on the trip by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwunmi  Adesina, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, the Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolememen, the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof Viola Onwuliri, and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki will undertake a tour of some locations in Israel which are revered by Christians because of their association with the earthly mission of Jesus Christ.

The statement also refuted media reports which stated that the President will be leading 19 state governors and about 30,000 Nigerians to Israel saying it is a misrepresentation of facts because 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.

According to the statement, the President may meet and interact with some other Nigerians who are already on a pilgrimage to Israel and he is expected to be back in Nigeria by next week.



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