Best for tourism: Tanzania opens its first embassy in Israel

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Looking to strengthen tourist investments and business ties, Tanzania opened its first embassy in the State of Israel early this week.

The Tanzanian Embassy was opened in Ramat Gan, making it the 15th African state to open an embassy in Israel, and the fourth to open one in the last 3 years.

Tanzanian Foreign Minister, Augustine Mahiga, said the embassy signifies the importance this African country and attaches to its “renewed” friendship with the State of Israel.

Tanzania established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1963, but relations between the 2 countries were severed after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 which brought intense pressure from Arab and socialist states during those days.

Back in 1995, ties between the 2 states were restored at which time Cairo in Egypt and Nairobi in Kenya became the centers of diplomatic exchange before Tanzania opened its full operational embassy in Israel, the Christian holy land.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who attended the official opening of the Tanzanian Embassy and who visited Tanzania 2 weeks ago, said at the ceremony that she hoped one day to see the Tanzanian flag fly in Jerusalem.

She said Israel was grateful to Tanzania for opening the embassy and hoped the new embassy will significantly an upgrade of Israeli-Tanzanian cooperation.

The restoration of diplomatic relations with Israel had been seen a blessing to the tourist fraternity in Tanzania, looking to benefit from a high number of tourists and hotel investors from the Israelis, the best-known hotel investors in East Africa.

Kenya is the leading country in East Africa to attract Israeli tourists and hotel investors to develop luxury beach hotels and lodges developed on the Kenyan coastal tourist city of Mombasa.

Israeli hotel and tourism businesses in Tanzania were closed shortly after the total boycott of Israel trading activities and ban of travel between Tel Aviv and Dar es Salaam.

Before the breakup of diplomatic relations between the two countries, an Israeli management firm, Mlonot, was contracted to manage the former Hallmark Hotels in Tanzania, a subsidiary of the Hallway Hotels Overseas Limited of London.