Netanyahu Hopes for ‘Breakthrough’ as Israel, Chad Revive Ties

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 06:30
N'Djamena - Asharq Al-Awsat

Israel and Chad restored diplomatic relations after nearly 50 years as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the central African nation on Sunday.

Netanyahu and Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno have "announced the renewal of diplomatic relations between Chad and Israel", a statement from the Israeli premier's office said, shortly after he arrived in N'djamena.

Netanyahu on Twitter called the announcement "a historic moment".

"Israel is making inroads into the Islamic world. This is the result of considerable effort in recent years," Netanhyahu's office said.

He hailed what he called a "historic and important breakthrough" with the Muslim-majority country that borders Libya and Sudan.

Speaking at a joint press event, Deby said that despite the renewal of ties with Israel, "Chad remains attached to the peace process between Israel and Palestine."

Both sides should prioritize dialogue and negotiation towards a lasting peace "in conformity with United Nations resolutions", he added.

Deby echoed Netanyahu's call for closer cooperation: "I note with satisfaction our shared view on the need to combine forces to tackle terrorism, which spares no country."

The two leaders signed defense and security cooperation agreements Sunday, but no details were released to the media.

They have in the past declined to comment on whether their talks have included arms deals.

But Chadian security sources say the country has acquired Israeli equipment to help battle rebels in the country's north.

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