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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Israel and the African Union Summit

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Lahcen Hammouch
Lahcen Hammouchhttps://www.facebook.com/lahcenhammouch
Lahcen Hammouch is a Journalist. Director of Almouwatin TV and Radio. Sociologist by the ULB. President of the African Civil Society Forum for Democracy.

Algeria and South Africa succeed in blocking Israel’s participation in the African Union summit last Saturday 18 February 2023. A video clip circulating on social networks shows guards escorting Sharon Bar-Lee, Deputy for African Affairs at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, outside the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

Because of this very serious incident, the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Algeria and South Africa of acting out of hatred for Israel. In a statement, it said:

“We take this incident very seriously. Israel has accredited observer status and access to the badge. We regret to see the African Union being held hostage by a few extremist countries like Algeria and South Africa, motivated by hatred and controlled by Iran. We call on African countries to oppose these activities that affect the African Union itself and the entire continent”.

In July 2021، Israel was officially granted observer membership of the African Union. Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Alili Admasu, presented his credentials as an “African Union observer” to the head of the Union Commission, Musa Faki Mahamat, at the organisation’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

This was criticised by the embassies of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine and Yemen, as well as by the League of Arab States’ mission to African Arab embassies.

In early August, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Mauritania, as well as the Republic of Comoros, formally opposed the acceptance by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission of the credentials of “Israel” as an observer member of the Union.

As a result, the African Union unanimously decided last year to suspend the decision to grant “Israel” observer status in the organisation, and formed a committee of 7 heads of state, including Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to study the issue.

It should be noted that in recent years, Israel has made considerable efforts to strengthen its diplomatic relations with a number of African countries.

Earlier this month, Chadian President Mohamed Idriss Deby Itno visited Israel to open an embassy for his country in Tel Aviv.

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