Algeria and Sudan are leading efforts to prevent Israel from regaining its status as an observer member of the African Union, Egyptian diplomatic circles revealed.
Algeria's Al-Fajr newspaper on Monday quoted unnamed Arab sources as saying that Algeria and Sudan's efforts led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being prevented from visiting the African Union on the side-lines of his recent visit to Ethiopia.
The newspaper quoted an Egyptian diplomat who explained that Algeria has led efforts, in coordination with Sudan, since the start of Netanyahu's visit to Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda following reports about the AU's intention to receive the Israeli prime minister and in light of Egypt's official silence about Israel's quest to join the African Union.
Foreign Policy said Netanyahu's visit to several African countries aimed to restore Israel's observer status in the African Union, which was cancelled in 2002 at the request of the late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.
According to the magazine, a breakthrough in Israel's relations with African countries occurred following Cairo and Tel Aviv's signing of the Camp David peace agreement.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said in previous remarks to Quds Press that some African countries' request to accept Israel's membership to the African Union is legally unacceptable.
"Israel is not an African country and the African Union convention states that only African countries can join the bloc," Ghandour said.