Israel Rejoins AU as Observer

Aleleign Admasu, the envoy to Ethiopia

Israel has been given observer status at the African Union (AU), the largest and most important organization on the continent.

Following Israel’s formal establishment of observer status with the AU, the parties hope to be able to jointly fight the coronavirus and prevent the spread of extremist terrorism across Africa, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on its website.

“This is a day of celebration for Israeli-African relations,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said. “The diplomatic achievement is the result of efforts by the Foreign Ministry, the African Division and Israeli embassies on the continent.

“This is a corrective step to the anomaly that has prevailed for almost two decades and is an important part of strengthening Israel’s foreign relations fabric.”

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For the first time since 2002, Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Aleleign Admasu, presented his credentials as an observer to the AU.

As of 2016, Israel has relations with 46 of the 55 countries in Africa. It has various partnerships and joint cooperation with many other countries in the region.

In the past few years, Israel has renewed diplomatic relations with Chad and Guinea, and also normalised relations with both Morocco and Sudan.

In 2002 the Organisation of African Unity was disbanded, making way for the African Union, to which Israel was an observer.

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