Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold met with President of Chad Idriss Déby last week, the first visit by an Israeli official to Chad in over 40 years since the country severed ties with Israel in 1972. Reports of the meeting were only now released.
Their meeting was centered on renewing diplomatic ties, the development coming just two weeks following Netanyahu’s Africa tour and renewed ties after 49 years with the Republic of Guinea this week.
The meeting was significant as Chad is a majority Muslim state, Prime Minister Netanyahu reporting after his visit with seven heads of African states that “Both during this visit and afterwards, we are receiving calls from other countries, some of which we do not have relations with, that they want to enhance relations. That is to say, there is a certain process here that is advancing toward the enhancement and normalization of our ties with African countries,’ referring to majority Muslim African nations.
Dore visited Chad following his meeting in Paris to finalize negotiations to renew diplomatic ties with Guinea, Israel and the Republic of Guinea officially renewing ties on Wednesday. Dore confirmed from Paris “I am happy to inform you that Mr. Ibrahim Khalil Kaba, Chief of Staff of the Guinean Presidency and I signed a joint declaration announcing the renewal of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Guinea and Israel,” stating following “The number of countries in Africa that have not yet done so are dwindling, and we hope that soon this number will no longer exist. Israel calls upon states that have not yet renewed diplomatic relations to follow Guinea’s example so that we can work together for the benefit of all the peoples of the region.”
Dore and his delegation of diplomats were reportedly flown privately to Chad by President Déby, Dore stating before leaving that their meeting was “within the framework of diplomatic momentum the prime minister has initiated in Africa.” Dore was flown to the President’s home village in Fada in the Sahara Desert where the officials met at his palace. Dore stated after their meeting that both leaders “discussed matters of mutual interest to both countries and also about deepening bilateral cooperation.”
The Foreign Ministry stated on their meeting “Chad is a central country on the African continent. It is a Muslim, Arabic-speaking country that deals with radical Islamic terrorism and this year holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union.”
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, July 22, 2016, and reposted with permission.