S. Africa reinstates envoy to Israel

Coovadia ends seven-week hiatus over Gaza flotilla incident.

July 20, 2010 18:25
1 minute read.
The Green Point soccer stadium in Cape Town, South

2010 world cup 311. (photo credit: AP)

The South African Foreign Ministry announced the reinstatement of its ambassador to Israel, Ismael Coovadia, following his withdrawal for seven weeks in protest of the May 31 Gaza flotilla incident, AFP reported Tuesday.

The South African Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that it supports an independent and international investigation of the incident, even as it acknowledged the IDF's own internal investigation.

South Africa recalls its ambassador
Ambassador at very large

The South African Embassy told The Jerusalem Post last June that Coovadia was being recalled to Pretoria so that the government could get a “better understanding” of what happened off the coast

Deputy International Relations Minister of South Africa, Ebrahim Ebrahim, explained the ambassador's recall. “This was done in order to register the Government’s strongest possible protest to the Israeli Government, for its unjustified military action and resultant loss of life inflicted by The State of Israel on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza,” he said in a statement.

“The recall of Ambassador Coovadia for consultations is a way of protesting and a way of showing our strongest condemnation of the attack. This recent Israel aggression of attacking the aid flotilla severely impacts on finding a lasting solution to the problems of the region,” Ebrahim told journalists in Pretoria.

In its statement announcing the return of its ambassador, the South African Foreign Ministry "continued to call on the Israeli government to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is causing untold suffering to thousands of innocent civilians."

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