A senior Israeli official visited Chad earlier this month to meet President Idriss Déby for discussions about restoring diplomatic relations, the Israeli foreign ministry revealed on Friday. Links between the Zionist state and the Arabic-speaking African-Islamic country were cut over 40 years ago.
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) July 22, 2016
According to the Times of Israel, the meeting did not signify the formal renewal of relations. "We view the meeting as an important step in our relations with Chad," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told the newspaper. The meeting in Chad came after Israel announced that it restored diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea, another African country with a Muslim majority, last week.
In a report by the New Arab, the Israeli foreign ministry said: "Chad is a central country on the African continent. It is a Muslim, Arabic-speaking country that deals with radical Islamic terrorism and this year holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union."
Arab48.com pointed out that Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, forged ties with African countries. It added that Israel is looking forward to return to Africa as an observer state at the African Union.