Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a new step in his policy of a diplomatic opening towards the arab world and the african continent to meet Sunday in Jerusalem with Idriss Déby, president of Chad, a country with which Israel does not maintain relationships for 46 years. The general Déby, which came to power in n’djamena after the overthrow of the dictator Hissène Habré in 1990, stated after an interview with the prime minister in his office in Jerusalem that the visit, the first conducted by a representative of his country to the jewish State, was focused on “matters of security”, according to sources in the entourage chadian cited by the israeli press. “We share the fight against the scourge of this century is terrorism,” he said. The chadian Army has acquired weapons and military equipment to Israel in order to fight the rebellion jihadist affiliated to Boko Haram in the desert north of the african country.
“The suppression of diplomatic ties in 1972, has not prevented to maintain good relations,” stressed the president of Chad, whose visit was announced only a few hours before landed his plane in Israel. Déby gave him to understand that there is no provision for an immediate normalization of relations with Israel and recalled that before must be solved “the palestinian problem” on the basis of an “open dialogue”. More than half of chadians are muslim by religion, compared to 40% who declare themselves protestant christians or catholics.
Netanyahu welcomed the visit “historic,” the chadian president to recover “a cooperation that had been put on hold”. Clarified that both had talked about “changes in the relations between Israel and the arab world”. The prime minister said that “very soon” will travel to other arab countries, within an opening driven by the “economic strength and technological” israeli. Israel only has the express recognition of Egypt and Jordan, which respectively signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994.
In recent months, however, Netanyahu has revived diplomatic contacts undertaken following the Oslo Accords (1993) and who had been suspended after the outbreak of the Second Intifada (2000-2005). The head of the Government visited a month ago in Muscate at the sultan Qaboos of Oman, and three of their ministers have attended international meetings in the last few weeks held in Gulf countries, concerned as Israel for the rise of the presence of Iran in the region. The israeli prime minister, who has undertaken three tours of Africa in the past two years, announced before the president Déby next visit to countries in central Africa.
The chadian Army has recently received from the united States vehicles and naval vessels as a contribution to their fight against the Islamic State in west and central Africa. Chad has become in recent years an emerging military power and vital ally of the West in the fight against jihadist terrorism in Mali, the head of operations regional military against Boko Haram.
Déby, of 66 years, amended the Constitution in 2005 to be able to stay in power almost indefinitely after having won all the elections that have been convened since 1996. The last elections were held two years ago, with the main leaders jailed, and state institutions controlled by his party. Amnesty International denounces that the chadian authorities “violate the right to freedom of association through restrictions illegal”.