Netanyahu met with Deby in Jerusalem; Meeting centered on bilateral ties, counter terrorism and cooperation; Netanyahu: Great changes are taking place in the Arab world in its relations with Israel. Deby: We have a shared struggle against the sickening evil of this century, which is terrorism.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the President of Chad, Idriss Deby, in the historic first visit by an official from Chad to the State of Israel.
The leaders had dinner at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem before meeting and giving a press conference following. The historic meeting was centered on establishing bilateral ties, counter terrorism and cooperation in numerous fields.
Speaking to the press, Netanyahu welcomed the President, stating “This is the first official visit by the President of Chad to the State of Israel. It follows a very long hiatus in our relations.” Chad officially severed ties with Israel in 1972.” On the future of bilateral relations, Netanyahu reported that Israel is “delighted that we are resuming our friendship. We never fully stopped our contacts as we spoke now but we are now expanding them at a very rapid rate.”
The prime minister spoke of the common fight against terrorism, what President Deby referred to Sunday as “shared struggle against the sickening evil of this century.” Netanyahu spoke of Israel’s efforts to increase cooperation with African nations as was in the “1960’s and early 70’s, especially in agriculture and water.” He added “This was discontinued and now it’s flourishing back again,” in reference to Israel’s numerous projects in African nations.
Netanyahu spoke of his continued efforts to establish and improve ties with African states, referring to his recent tours in East and West Africa, He then reported “Now I’m going to drop a big hint, I hope to come to the center of Africa. And I wish to bring with me Israeli entrepreneurs, Israeli experts, Israeli companies, everything that can improve the life of the peoples of Africa, which is something we believe in. Israel is coming back to Africa, Africa is coming back to Israel.”
The prime minister spoke of the “great changes that are taking place in the Arab world in its relations with Israel,” adding “And this was manifested in my recent visit in Oman with Sultan Qaboos. And there will be more such visits in Arab countries very soon. As a leader of an African country, an important African country, a majority of whose population is Muslim, you are coming to Israel to renew our friendship and our relationship. I think it is a testament of what is going to happen with other such countries in Africa as well, and I believe that you are paving the way for many others.”
Israel renewed its communication with Chad two and a half years ago through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under former director-general, Dore Gold. Talks have been ongoing since then with limited media coverage.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to increase his efforts to create ties with African states, particularly with Sudan, Niger and Mali.
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