Muslim-majority Chad eager for cooperation with Israel

The Israeli delegation was impressed by the desire of the Chadian government, and of the private sector, to cooperate with the Jewish state.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli government delegation visited the Republic of Chad during the first week of August at the initiative of the National Security Council. It will be noted that relations were resumed with Chad, which has a Muslim majority, this past January after an almost 50-year break, according to a spokesperson for the ministry of Economy and Industry.

Following the resumption of relations, Chad President Idriss Deby asked the Israeli government to send representatives to evaluate the advancement of bilateral economic cooperation and the transfer of information on – inter alia – agriculture, water management and education.

The delegation, led Dr. Itai Melchior, head of Israel’s Trade and Economic Office, met with ministers and directors of Chad’s ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Water, Energy, Mines, Communications, Education and Health. Meetings were also held with international officials, including representatives from the World Bank and the U.S. Embassy, in order to consider increased foreign investments in Chad.

Chad’s chamber of commerce invited the delegation to meet with leading local entrepreneurs in order to consider cooperation with the Israeli business sector. The government mining company briefed the delegation on the relevant economic potential of the north-central African country.

Most of Chad’s GDP stems from the export of petroleum and cattle. The country is interested in attracting foreign investments in the mining sector, which they believe to be of great potential, in upgrading local physical and social infrastructures and in diversifying the national economy.

It was agreed – inter alia – that senior Chadian officials, including the Minister of Agriculture and Mines, and from the business sector, would visit Israel.

Melchior noted that members of the Israeli delegation were impressed by the desire of the Chadian government, and of the private sector, to cooperate with Israel.

“After an intensive two days of meetings, I can say with certainty that there is definitely room for cooperation with both the government and the business sector. I assume that we will see Chadian visits to Israel soon in order to continue the dialogue,” he said.

According to Regional Cooperation Ministry Director-General Dr. Joseph Draznin, “The developing ties between Chad and Israel are part of the fabric of Israel’s relations with countries in the region. This fabric combines both bilateral and regional cooperation between Israel and African, Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries in energy, water, agriculture and technology.”