Top Israeli diplomat visits secret Muslim African state without formal ties

This is the second time Foreign Ministry head Dore Gold has visited such a state without diplomatic relations in the past month.

Dore Gold (photo credit: REUTERS)
Dore Gold
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, who met Sunday in Guinea with President Alpha Conde, stopped on his way back from West Africa to Israel in another Muslim country in the region with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations.
In July, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to East Africa, Israel re-established ties with Guinea. A few days later, Gold went to Chad, another African Muslim state without diplomatic relations with Israel, and met President Idriss Deby Itno.
The other predominantly Muslim states with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations in Sub-Saharan Africa are: Mali, Chad, Niger, Sudan, Mauritania, Somalia, Djibouti and Comoros.
Gold meet in the Guinean capital of Conakry with Conde and 10 of his ministers.
A number of Muslim countries in West Africa, including Guinea and Chad, are very concerned about Islamic terrorism, and have expressed an interest in learning from Israeli expertise on this matter.
Gold’s trip to West Africa comes just over a week after Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé visited Israel, and agreed on an Israeli-African summit on “security and development” to take part in Lomé in the spring.
Netanyahu has made improving relations with Africa one of Israel’s major foreign policy goals, and is very keen on holding a summit in West Africa, similar to the one he held last month in East Africa with leaders from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and Zambia.