Chadian President, Mahamat Deby, in Israel to open an embassy on Thursday, heard his hosts' concern about what they described as the clout of their arch-foes, Iran and Hezbollah, in Africa's Sahel region, Reuters reports.
Israel only confirmed Deby's visit on Wednesday, the day after he arrived. The trip included a rare stop at the Mossad intelligence headquarters – a sign that bilateral ties re-established five years ago have national security importance.
Deby inaugurated the embassy in Ramat Gan, a town abutting Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.
"This is an historic moment," the office quoted Netanyahu as saying at the ceremony, to which media were not invited. "We are bolstering relations between us in the security realms, for the sake of peace and prosperity."
Meeting Deby, Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant "raised the importance of narrowing the influence of Iran and Hezbollah in the Sahel region, as a key to ensuring stability, and thwarting the export of terrorism," Gallant's office said.
There was no immediate comment from the government in Chad or Tehran. In Beirut, Hezbollah's media office declined comment.
WATCH: Chad opens embassy in Israel
The existence or level of Iranian influence in the Sahel has been disputed.
Morocco cut ties with Iran in 2018, accusing it of working through Hezbollah to train and arm the Polisario Front group, which is waging an armed independence struggle for the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Rabat has also warned of Iranian incursion in the Sahel using Algeria as a gateway.
Algeria and the Polisario have denied this, and analysts say they have seen no evidence of such Iranian activity.
Muslim-majority Chad has not publicly spoken of any significant presence by Iran or Hezbollah, a Tehran-backed Lebanese political party with a powerful militia, in the Sahel, parts of which are contending with Sunni Islamist insurgencies.
In 2018, Chad's then-President, Idriss Deby, visited Israel, reversing decades of diplomatic distance over its policies toward the Palestinians, whose statehood struggle continues. At the time, Idriss Deby cited a joint fight against terrorism.
There was no immediate comment on the Chadian embassy opening from Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas's administration. Abbas's rival Palestinian group, Hamas, which spurns coexistence with Israel, condemned Chad's move.
Israel has no plan to open an embassy in N'Djamena, and runs contacts with Chad out of its embassy in Senegal, an official said.