Chad accepts first Israeli ambassador in 50 years
Ben Bourgel, an non-resident ambassador to numerous African countries including Senegal, presented his credentials to Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno on Tuesday.
The accreditation was lauded by Israel as a display of “deepening relations” between the two countries after ties were severed in 1972 and reforged in 2019 under former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Ambassador Ben Bourgel and his team will work to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in areas of common interest such as climate change, agriculture, water management and health,” the Israeli Embassy in Senegal posted on Twitter.
Today, Ambassador @BenBourgel presented his letters of credence to the President of the Republic of Chad, General MAHAMAT IDRISS DEBY ITNO.— Ambassade d'Israël (@IsraelinSenegal) May 17, 2022
He becomes the first Ambassador of #Israel accredited to #Chad for 50 years. 1/3#IsraelinChad 🇹🇩🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/rTKg4jliEe
Muslim-majority Chad cut ties with Israel in 1972.
Over 45 years later, Netanyahu - who sought to revive Israel’s presence in Africa via a combination of technology and security deals - made a historic trip to Chad and announced the “renewal of diplomatic ties [as] a breakthrough for the Arab and Muslim world".
Chad’s former President Idriss Deby, the father of their current leader, framed a move towards closer cooperation as a way to “combine forces to tackle terrorism, which spares no country”.
Israel now has diplomatic relations with 46 African states and 12 embassies across the continent.
At least 13 African countries have opened embassies in Tel Aviv, and Malawi has previously announced its intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem despite the fact that it is not recognised by the United Nations as Israel's capital.