PM met with President Déby in Chad, leaders announce renewed ties after 47 years; Netanyahu: We’re making new inroads into the Muslim world.
Israel and Chad announced the resumption of diplomatic ties after 47 years on Sunday.
The announcement was made during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Chad to meet with Chadian President Idriss Déby. Diplomatic ties were severed in 1972 as Sub-Saharan states boycotted Israel under pressure from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
During a press conference alongside Déby in N’Djamena, Netanyahu focused his speech on Israel’s growing relations with Muslim states, bilateral cooperation between Israel and Chad and efforts to establish ties with Sahel states. Referring to the recent historic visit by President Déby to Israel and Netanyahu’s historic, first visit to Chad, the prime minister stated Sunday “I’m here to formally re-establish our diplomatic relations. Chad is a very important country and a very important country for Israel.”
He spoke of current and future cooperation between Israel with Chad in the areas of security, “agriculture, food, water, energy, health and many more,” calling for further alliances in the region. He referred to renewed ties as the start of a “partnership in trying to forge a prosperous and secure future for our countries and in a larger sense for Africa and beyond,” in order to “build a better, safer and more prosperous future for both our peoples.”
Netanyahu spoke of the significance of bilateral ties with a majority Muslim country and the common goal of combatting terrorism and extremism, referring to the recent terror attack in Kenya. He stated, “We are making inroads into the Islamic world. We are being welcomed here with respect just as we welcomed President Déby in Israel with respect. Israel is making inroads into the Islamic world. This is the result of considerable effort in recent years. We are making history and we are turning Israel into a rising global power.”
Netanyahu also announced that Israel would assist Power Africa, an American initiative created in 2013 under the Obama Administration that supports economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector. He also announced he would return to Chad in March with a delegation of Israeli companies.
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