King of the Zulus Visits Israel As It Ponders Sanctions Policy

Israel is playing host this week to the king of the Zulu nation in South Africa, as it considers whether to lift sanctions against the Pretoria regime.

King Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu met separately. Monday with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister David Levy. He was promised Israeli help in developing agriculture and irrigation in the territory he rules.

The king paid a courtesy call on President Chaim Herzog and visited the Western Wall. He will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial later in the week.

Israel’s policy-making Inner Cabinet is due to take up the question of economic sanctions against South Africa, mandated by the United Nations because of its apartheid policies.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has strongly recommended sanctions be phased out now that the government of President F.W. de Klerk has begun to dismantle the racist structure.

Shamir was quoted Monday as telling visiting South African Zionist leaders that an Israeli waiver of sanctions against their country is “a matter of a few weeks away.”

Israel is known to be carefully coordinating its policy on South Africa with the United States. President Bush is said to be pressing for the relaxation of U.S. sanctions.

De Klerk has visited Washington and is expected to visit Israel later this year.

Political observers have linked the visit of the Zulu king to Israel’s ongoing efforts to improve its relations with all African states.

Last week, Levy welcomed the foreign minister of Kenya, Wilson Ndolo Ayah, who came here on the first visit by a high-level Kenyan official since that East African nation broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973. It restored ties in December 1988.

Ndolo Ayah observed publicly in Jerusalem that the international system of sanctions against South Africa is being eased as the South African government moves toward racial equality.

NEXT STORY