Israeli PM visits Chad to restore relations
JERUSALEM (AA): Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced the official resumption of ties with Chad.
“Chad President Idriss Deby and I announced the resumption of diplomatic relations between Chad and Israel,” Netanyahu tweeted.
Netanyahu headed to the North-Central African nation on Sunday for talks aimed at restoring diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and N’Djamena.
There have been “changes in relations between Israel and the Arab world,” Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as saying during a joint press conference with Deby, adding that he would be visiting some Arab countries “very soon,” without naming them.
Netanyahu described his visit to Chad as “part of the revolution we are having in the Arab and Muslim world.”
Deby, for his part, told the conference that restoring ties with Israel “won’t eliminate the Palestinian problem,” according to Haaretz.
“The purpose of your visit is to bring our two countries closer and to cooperate,” Haaretz quoted Deby as telling Netanyahu.
“I am now leaving on another historic and important breakthrough, to Chad, a huge Muslim country bordering Libya and Sudan,”
The Times of Israel quoted Netanyahu as saying in statements ahead of his trip.
“There will be big news,” Netanyahu said, hinting at the formal resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Chad severed diplomatic relations with Israel in 1972.
The Israeli premier claimed earlier Sunday that Iran and the Palestinians have attempted to “prevent Israel’s diplomatic push.”
“It greatly worries, even greatly angers [them],” he said. Israeli Channel 10 reported Saturday night that Netanyahu is expected to offer his government’s support for preventing militants infiltrating Chad from Libya.
Netanyahu’s delegation to Chad includes senior officials from the defense and finance ministries, in an indication of his target to boost military and trade ties with Chad.
The Chadian president had made a rare visit to Israel last November.