Israel, Guinea renew diplomatic ties after 49 years

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the Republic of Guinea, a predominantly Muslim nation in Africa, have renewed diplomatic relations after 49 years.

Dore Gold, the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Affairs ministry, the chief of staff of the Guinean President’s Office, Dr. Ibrahim Khalil Kaba, signed a joint statement on Wednesday in Paris announcing the renewal of ties.

Guinea broke off diplomatic relations with Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967.

Despite the lack of official ties, Israel sent a medical team to Guinea to help during the Ebola crisis after pledging $10 million to a United Nations fund. Unnamed senior officials said it was these kinds of good-will gestures that helped bring about the diplomatic breakthrough, Haaretz reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said another African nation will soon restore diplomatic relations with Israel.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu visited four African nations: Libya, Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

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