President of Chad meets with Netanyahu, ‘wants to renew ties’ with Israel

After meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President of Chad Idriss Deby declared his desire to reestablish relations with the Jewish state, following a decades-long break in diplomacy between the nations.

By Ilanit Chernick, TPS

In a historic visit to Israel, President of Chad Idriss Deby told reporters on Sunday during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he “wants to renew ties between the two countries, and that doing so would not eliminate the Palestinian problem.”

During the press conference Netanyahu said that he had spoken with Deby “about the changes that are taking place in the Arab world with regard to Israel, and this is reflected in the meeting with Sultan Qaboos [in Oman, Jordan], and there will be more visits to Arab countries soon.”

The Chadian president said that dialogue and communication “are the basis for everything.

“We need to put the differences and disagreements aside in order to talk for the good of the peoples,” he said, adding that Israel and Chad “have a common struggle in this century that is marred with terrorism

“Humanity must get rid of this thing, cooperation in this sense is a cure for this,” he said. “I am happy to be in your beautiful country on an official visit,” he said.

Netanyahu expounded on this saying that it was important to “give the peoples what they deserved; food, security, medicine…and technology.”

During the press conference, Deby also highlighted that despite “diplomatic relations being severed in the 1970s, it did not prevent good relations between us, which continued all the time.”

The Israeli prime minister also thanked Deby for “this important step.”

Later in the evening, Deby also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1972. Chad is a Muslim-majority nation in north-central Africa, which at this stage, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that “this is an historic visit, the first by President of Chad to Israel since the establishment of the state.

“The visit comes against the background of the manifold diplomatic efforts let by Prime Minister Netanyahu in recent years,” Prime Minister’s Office wrote.

Netanyahu added: “This is an additional diplomatic breakthrough . This is an historic and important visit that comes against the background of the efforts we have led. I welcome the President of Chad on his arrival in Israel.”

Netanyahu also told the Cabinet on Sunday that he had met Deby at the recent ceremony in Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War.