Uganda and Israel on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence cooperation at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala.
The agreement renews and strengthens the existing historical relationship between the two countries on matters concerning defence, security, and welfare, among others.
The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Permanent Secretary Rosette Byengoma signed on behalf of the Uganda Government while Asaf Dvir signed for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
Byengoma, in her remarks, commended the existing relationship between Uganda and Israel.
She thanked the Israeli for supporting Uganda’s social-economic transformation agenda, adding that Israel has played a big role in building Uganda’s air defence capabilities.
“Israel has helped us to strengthen our different branches of the military, more especially in Air force and Air Defence. Your invariable expertise and support have, to a greater extent made our air space safer, and for this, we are grateful,” Byengoma observed.
She lauded Israel for supporting the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) in training, provision of modern equipment and availing opportunities for technological transfer to cope with the emerging global threats like terrorism, cyber-crime, youth bulge and environmental changes, among others.
Byengoma further called for loyalty and commitment to the signed legal framework, saying that it will fasten government transactions in many areas of mutual interest.
“I believe this product will facilitate smooth engagements between the two parties,” she noted.
The Head of Delegation SIBAT Asaf Dvir thanked the Uganda Government and UPDF Leadership for pacifying the country.
“On behalf of the Israel Ministry of Defence (ISMOD), we would like to transfer our appreciation to the leadership for this process and also for the continued relationship in the future,” he said.
He promised to commit to the existing historical relationship on defence and security cooperation.
“We are delighted to share our experience and knowledge with our allies on issues that deal with economic development, cultural transformation, defence and security cooperation, among others,” said Asaf.
The Israeli Government has always collaborated with UPDF in the field of training, intelligence collection, air space management and border protection, among others.
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, Deputy Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Sam Okiding, Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI) Maj Gen James Birungi, Chief of Legal Services Maj Gen Kagoro Asingura, Defence Spokesperson Brig Gen Felix Kulaigye, Honorary Consul of State of Israel in Kampala Ishta Kutesa Muganga, and Col Eyal Ruso from Israel Defence Forces, among others.