Chad, Israel renews diplomatic ties after 47 years

Chad and Israel have renewed diplomatic ties in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described as “a partnership… to forge a prosperous and secure future for our countries”.

His comments came during a brief visit to Chad where he was welcomed by President Idriss Deby.

In recent years, Israel has made a big effort to improve diplomatic relations with several African countries.

Chad, which has a majority Muslim population, cut ties in 1972.

Mr Netanyahu’s visit reciprocates President Deby’s trip to Israel last November, the first by a Chadian leader. 

In addition to renewing diplomatic ties the two leaders signed several agreements, Mr Deby told a joint press conference, but did not say what those deals were.

“The purpose of your visit is to bring our two countries closer and to cooperate,” he told Mr Neytanyahu,¬†the Haaretz newspaper reports.

Chad is interested in “security, intelligence, technology and a pathway to Washington”,¬†writes Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon.

For his part, the Israeli prime minister is trying to separate the peace process with the Palestinians from relations with majority-Muslim countries, Mr Keinon adds.

In 2016, Mr Netanyahu became the first Israeli premier to visit Africa in nearly three decades, with a trip to Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.

A year later he attended a meeting in Liberia of heads of state from the West African regional group, Ecowas. But an Israel-Africa summit that was supposed to take place in Togo in October 2017 was cancelled.

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