Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territories (AFP):
Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno opened his country’s first embassy in Israel on Thursday, four years after the countries renewed ties following a decades-long rupture, an Israeli statement said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office called the embassy’s inauguration in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv “a historic moment”.
Netanyahu said in 2020 that he had discussed “the possibility of opening an embassy in Jerusalem” with a Chadian delegation.
The right-winger has been pressing foreign governments to set up their embassies in the city since Donald Trump moved the US embassy to the disputed city in 2018.
“We are strengthening our friendship and our common interests in pursuing peace, security and prosperity,” Netanyahu said.
Israel recognised Chad when it declared independence from France in 1960 and by 1962 had opened an embassy in Ndjamena.
Ties between Israel and Chad were broken in 1972 with the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Arab Muslim nations.
The Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973 led a number of African states to sever relations with the Zionist state, Chad being one of them.
In a 2019 visit to Chad, Netanyahu and Deby announced a resumption of diplomatic relations.
After his arrival on Tuesday, Deby met the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, David Barnea.
The Mossad “has played a central role in formulating the agreement and strengthening relations between the two countries,” a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office said.
Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries, and is not an Arab League member.