Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Chad “soon” to formally announce the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Prime Minister’s Office announced on Tuesday.
The announcement came after Netanyahu met for the third time in two days with visiting Chad President Idriss Déby, before the later ended his two-day visit, the first ever by a Chadian president.
According to the statement, the two leaders discussed “common threats” and the war against terrorism.
Chad is on the front lines in Africa in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism, be it in the form of Boko Haram or organizations affiliated with Islamic State or al-Qaeda. The desire for Israel expertise in fighting terrorism is believed to be one of the main reasons Déby decided to renew ties with Israel, 46 years after Chad severed formal diplomatic ties.
The PMO statement said the two leaders also discussed cooperation in the fields of agriculture, border protection, technology, solar energy, water and health.
On Sunday, the two leaders issued statements to the press after their first meeting.
“In the last two years I’ve been three times in Africa,” Netanyahu said. “East Africa and West Africa. Now I’m going to drop a big hint, I hope to come to the center of Africa. And I wish to bring with me Israeli entrepreneurs, Israeli experts, Israeli companies, everything that can improve the life of the peoples of Africa, which is something we believe in. Israel is coming back to Africa, Africa is coming back to Israel.”
Netanyahu went to Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia in July 2016
for the first visit to the continent by an Israeli prime minister in nearly 30 years; to Liberia in June 2017 for a summit meeting with western African leaders; and to Kenya in November 2017 for the inauguration of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a related development, Channel 10 reported that a Foreign Ministry official met last year in Istanbul with Sudanese officials in an effort to begin a dialogue with Sudan. The reports said the meeting took place in the offices of a Turkish businessman close to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir.
Amid speculation that Sudan would follow Chad in establishing ties with Israel, Abdel-Sakhi Abbas, the leader of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party, was quoted as saying on Monday that his country’s position on normalization of ties with Israel is clear “and is fundamentally linked to the Palestinian cause.”
“When Israel ceases its hostile practices toward Palestine, Sudan can establish a relationship with it,” Abbas said.
Sudan, however, has been mulling ties with Israel at least since 2016, when it severed its ties with Iran and moved significantly closer to Saudi Arabia.
In January of that year, then-Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said at a public meeting in Khartoum that Sudan is open to discussing normalizing ties with Israel, despite decades of hostility.
Answering a question at a speech on Sudan’s foreign relations, and about the US conditioning the lifting of its sanctions on Khartoum with Sudan’s normalization of ties with Israel, Ghandour said Sudan was not opposed to studying “any such proposal.”
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