Israel and Chad renew diplomatic relations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Chad on Sunday for what he called a “historic” trip to re-establish diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu said: “Israel is making inroads into the Islamic world. This is the result of considerable effort in recent years. We are making history and we are turning Israel into a rising global power.” He added: “We believe in the future of Chad and the future of Africa. This is my fourth visit to Africa in four years. I think it says something, and indeed, we are committed to making every effort to help alongside with the US with the programme Power Africa to help light up African countries.”

Netanyahu’s visit followed Chad President Idriss Deby’s visit to Israel in November, the first by a Chadian leader. In addition to renewing diplomatic relations the two leaders signed a number of bilateral agreements.

Chad is one of several African states engaged in Western-backed operations against Boko Haram and ISIS-backed jihadists. Netanyahu said: “My visit to Africa comes after a horrendous terror attack in Kenya, and there have been terrorist attacks of Boko Haram in this region as well. I agree with you, Mr. President, that we have to band together to fight this evil and we are ready to do so in full cooperation with you as we cooperate with other countries that want to stamp out terrorism.”

A senior Israeli business delegation will visit Chad in March to discuss ways to improve trade and investment in the country.

Prime Minister Netanyahu flew back from Chad yesterday through South Sudanese airspace, the first time Sudan, which still retains air control authority over South Sudan, has given an Israeli aircraft permission to fly over its southern neighbour.

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