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Netanyahu shows American-Jewish leaders map of Israel’s diplomatic offensive in Africa

Mmusi Maimane leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [file photo]
Mmusi Maimane leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [file photo]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American-Jewish leaders that Israel has “potential” diplomatic relations with Mali and Niger, reported The Times of Israel.

“Israeli officials have long acknowledged their goal to restore formal ties with Mali, though never publicly referred to the status quo of relations in this way,” the report added.

On Monday evening, “Netanyahu addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’ annual Israel mission in a Jerusalem hotel.”

During his speech, the premier “talked participants through a slide show about Israeli achievements in various fields, including diplomacy.”

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One slide entitled “Israel is Returning Africa” showed a map of the continent, dividing its countries into four coloured categories.

Coloured in red were “Arab countries” “with which Israel does not have any formal relations”, countries in light blue showed “countries where Israel has relations but no embassy”, while “states where Israel does have an embassy were presented in dark blue”.

Mali and Niger, however, were coloured in beige, which according to the map’s legend indicates that Israel has “potential relations” with them.

In addition, “Somalia and Djibouti, two Muslim-majority states in East Africa, were coloured in light blue, implying they have full diplomatic relations with Israel, which they do not.”

An unnamed Israeli official told the Times of Israel “that colouring Somalia and Djibouti light-blue was obviously a mistake by whoever prepared the map”.

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