26, November 2018
Amid warming relations with Chad, Israel is reportedly working to normalize relations with Sudan and other African states as the regime steps up its push to strengthen its foothold in the continent.
A senior Israeli official told Channel 10 TV channel that a visit on Sunday by Chadian President Idriss Deby to the occupied territories was laying the groundwork for normal ties between Tel Aviv and the Muslim-majority African states of Sudan, Mali and Niger.
The unnamed official also noted that Israel was seeking to shorten flight times from the occupied territories to Latin America through normalizing relations with African countries.
Deby became the first Chadian leader to visit Israel on Sunday, 46 years after the two sides severed ties.
After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Chadian president pledged a new era of cooperation with “the prospect of reestablishing diplomatic relations.”
Israeli media cited sources in N’Djamena as saying that Deby’s visit was focused on “security,” and that the regime in Tel Aviv had already been supplying weapons and other military equipment to Chad.
Netanyahu, however, declined to comment on potential Israeli weapons sales to Chad.
During his visit, Deby said the future resumption of ties with Israel “does not make us ignore the Palestinian issue.”
The Palestinians, however, protested Deby’s trip to Israel.
Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, voiced displeasure over the visit.
“All countries and institutions must boycott the extremist government of Israel and impose a siege on it because of its settlement activities, its occupation of Palestinian land,” Youssef was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Over the past two years, Netanyahu has traveled to several African states in a bid to end decades of hostility against the occupying entity and convince them to stop voting against the Israeli regime at the United Nations in favor of Palestinians.