Over the weekend, Netanyahu will visit the African nation to renew diplomatic ties after a nearly five decade interruption.
By World Israel News Staff
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to fly on Saturday night to Chad, a Muslim-majority nation in northern Africa that broke off ties with the Jewish state 47 years ago.
Netanyahu will stay for one day in the nation’s capital, N’Djamena, where he will meet with Chad’s President Idriss Déby to make an official declaration regarding the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.
The trip follows a surprise visit by Déby to Israel in November during which he commented, “The relations between our countries were cut in 1972 for specific historic reasons, but our special relations continued all the time.”
During that visit Déby signaled his desire to renew relations with Israel, with leaders from both countries acknowledging that covert lines of communication remained open despite the cessation of official diplomatic ties.
Chad joins other African nations that have shored up their relationships with Israel during the last several years, an outcome that Netanyahu has actively pursued. For example, Muslim-majority Guinea also renewed diplomatic relations with Israel in 2016, and Netanyahu has visited Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda during this term in office, traveling to Africa on three separate occasions in the past two years.
During his November visit, Déby cautioned that “resumption of diplomatic relations . . . does not make us ignore the Palestinian issue,” adding that his nation “is profoundly attached to the peace process and has shaped the Arab peace initiative, the Madrid principles and existing agreements.”