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Chad leader visits Israel marking major diplomatic change in relations

Deby is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 November, 2018

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President Idriss Deby has arrived in Jerusalem, marking a major diplomatic change for Chad, which cut diplomatic relations with Israel in 1972.

Chad President Idriss Deby arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday where he is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a major step for the two countries which broke diplomatic relations more than 40 years ago.

The two leaders will meet together in private before dining together, agencies reported, for the first visit by Chad's head of state to Israel.

Muslim-majority Chad cut-off ties with Israel in 1972, but Israel has been seeking to improve relations with countries across the world, including in Africa where rivl Palestine has traditionally had strong support.

Netanyahu's office said Deby's visit was down to the premier's diplomatic efforts.

Deby is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, winning a controversial election in 2016.

He has led a campaign against jihadi groups in the area, including Boko Haram, which has won him favour in the West.

Earlier this month, the United States donated military vehicles and boats worth $1.3 million to Chad as part of the campaign against militancy in the country.

An insurgency is also raging in the north of the country, around the Libyan border.

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