Israel and Chad announce resumption of diplomatic ties

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and Chad announced the resumption of diplomatic relations.

The announcement came Sunday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in the African nation on what he called a “historic and important” visit.

“This is part of the revolution that we are doing in the Arab and Islamic worlds; I promised you that this would happen. There will be more major news. There will be more countries,” Netanyahu said Sunday morning as he boarded the plane to Chad.

Chad severed ties with Israel in 1972, due to pressure from the leader of Chad’s neighbor, Libya’s Muammar Ghaddafi.

Netanyahu and Chad’s President Idriss Deby told reporters during an appearance later on Sunday that one of the two agreements the two leaders signed during their meeting prior to meeting with reporters was the renewal of diplomatic relations.

The agreement comes two months after Deby visited Israel and met with Netanyahu.

“The relations between our countries were cut in 1972 for specific historic reasons, but our special relations continued all the time,” Deby said then. Deby has served as president of the Muslim-majority Chad since 1990.