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Israeli officials look to hold Africa-Israel Summit in Jerusalem

October 19, 2017 at 11:53 am

A group of student stage a protest against Israel’s policies in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 8, 2017 [Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency]

Talks are reportedly underway in an effort to reschedule the cancelled Africa-Israel Summit, with Israeli officials proposing it be held in Jerusalem within the next six months, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Diplomatic officials and businessmen are currently looking at the feasibility of holding the conference, which was to be held next week prior to its cancellation, next year in order to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, and to mark 60 years since the establishment of Israel’s overseas development agency, Mashav.

The Africa-Israel Summit was initially to be held in Togo before it was “postponed indefinitely” in September at the request of Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé.

Read: Call for an African-Palestinian summit

The decision was primarily attributed to the internal political crisis in Togo, but also the pressure from pro-Palestinian groups in the country, as well as in other African states, and even in Europe. Sudan had already confirmed prior to the cancellation, that it would not be attending the summit in protest.

After the announcement was made, Hamas praised the efforts of African countries, stating that it was “a victory for humanitarian values and its defenders.”

Israel has been emphasising the desire to improve relations between the occupying state and the African continent, using the slogan “Israel is returning to Africa”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously announced that he is trying to establish a closer relationship in order to combat the traditional anti-Israel majority in international organisations such as the United Nations.

Israel has diplomatic relations with 40 out of 48 countries in southern Africa.

Israel should back off; Africa does not need a modern colonial master