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Israel and Chad set to renew diplomatic relations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a concentrated effort to develop relations with African countries, including making contact with the leaders of Somalia and Mali.

Chadian President Idris Déby walks with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during Déby's historic visit to the Jewish state on Nov. 25, 2018. Credit: Haim Zach/GPO.
Chadian President Idris Déby walks with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during Déby's historic visit to the Jewish state on Nov. 25, 2018. Credit: Haim Zach/GPO.

Israel will officially renew diplomatic ties with the Muslim-majority African country Chad when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Saturday night for a one-day trip.

Netanyahu will travel to the Chadian capital of N’Djamena to meet with President Idriss Déby for a meeting and formal declaration of renewed diplomatic relations after 47 years of no diplomatic ties.

Déby arrived in Israel in November for a surprise visit, during which he expressed interest in restoring full diplomatic ties. During the trip, he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“The relations between our countries were cut in 1972 for specific historic reasons, but our special relations continued all the time,” said Déby, alluding to covert contact the nations maintained over the years. “The current visit to your beautiful country expresses our desire to take the relations that existed all the time and make them stronger.”

Netanyahu has made a concentrated effort to develop Israeli relations with African countries, overseeing the renewal of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea in West Africa in 2016, and making contact with the leaders of Somalia and Mali.

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