The President of the Republic of Chad said on Sunday that "all options are open" for cooperation with Israel. Idriss Deby made his comments in a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Chad leader's historic visit to the Zionist state.
Renewed ties with Israel, insisted Deby, does not mean that the Palestinian problem has been removed. He acknowledged that cutting diplomatic ties with Israel in the 1970s did not prevent there being good relations between the two states. He pointed out that Israel had supplied weapons to his country during its war with the northern rebels. "We have a shared struggle against the sickening evil of this century, which is terrorism."
The Chad President said that he hopes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ends with a peaceful solution, and stressed that talking together is the basis for such a positive result.
Deby also had a meeting with his Israeli counterpart. "You have lived through difficult history," he told President Reuven Rivlin, "and it is important that people speak to one another. It is very easy to pull the trigger and very difficult to stop the war."
According to Israeli Channel 13 TV, an anonymous senior Israeli official said that Israel is seeking to boost relations with Sudan, Niger and Mali. The main reason for this, claimed the official, is to allow Israeli aircraft to use African airspace en route to South America.