Netanyahu with Togo FM Robert Dussey.
(photo credit: CHAIM ZACH / GPO)
BUENOS AIRES – Fourteen African heads of government had already said they would attend the African-Israel summit in Togo before it was postponed on Monday, and a senior diplomatic official said a meeting with those leaders will take place in Africa or Israel in the near future.
According to the senior diplomatic official, although there was Arab pressure on Togo to scuttle the meeting that was intended to promote Israel’s ties with Africa, the main reason had to do with internal political problems facing President Faure Gnassingbé.
Hundreds of thousands of people protested last week in the streets in the Togolese capital of Lomé and other cities against Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005.
Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem said it was significant that 14 presidents had said they would participate in the now canceled Togo summit.
He said that following Netanyahu’s trip to Liberia over the summer to take part in the Economic Community of West African States summit of 11 presidents and one prime minister, there was a desire to do “something bigger and more important.”
If more time is needed to carry this out, “we will do it,” he said.
According to Rotem, other avenues – beyond Netanyahu’s meetings with African leaders – are being pursued to enhance ties with the continent.