Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara started Sunday an official visit in Israel where he is due to address this week the Peres' Presidential Conference ‘Facing Tomorrow’ on global economy.
During his visit, Ouattara, a former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, will have talks with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the president of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin and several other government members.
On Sunday, Ouattara started his visit with a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.
He will also meet the Ivorian community living in Israel.
Among the bilateral relations and issues to be discussed is how Israel deals with infiltrators from Africa.
On Sunday, a first plane carrying 150 South Sudanese migrants was slated to leave Israel as part of the government policy to expel thousands of unauthorized African migrants who have poured into the Jewish state. “Operation Going Back Home” was put into effect after the Jerusalem District Court ruled last week that the South Sudanese would not be in physical danger if they were returned to their country.
Some 60,000 impoverished Africans, most from Eritrea and Sudan, have slipped into Israel across its southern border with Egypt since 2005, fleeing repressive regimes and seeking work.
The influx has caused friction with Israeli locals, and several incidents recently turned violent.
Authorities, alarmed by the swelling numbers, say the migrants are a burden on the economy and threaten to undermine Israel's Jewish character.