Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning embarked on a historic state visit to Chad after the two countries decided to restore diplomatic ties.
Israel and Chad announced in November they would renew their diplomatic, 47 years after they were cut off, as Chad’s President Idriss Deby met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Chad, a central Africa nation, cut diplomatic ties with Jerusalem in 1972 after a decade of good relations and cooperation. Chad is a large and important Muslim-majority African country. No president of Chad has ever visited the state of Israel.
Before boarding his plane to the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, Netanyahu stated he was leaving “on another historic and important breakthrough, to Chad, a huge Muslim country bordering Libya and Sudan.”
“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,” he added.
“This is very disturbing and even causes outrage in Iran and among the Palestinians who are trying to prevent this. They will not succeed,” he vowed.
Israel has recently experienced a significant boost in its ties with several Arab countries.
In October, Netanyahu visited the Gulf country of Oman and met with its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It was the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.
Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev and Communications Minister Ayoob Kara have recently visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Regev attended the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, where the Israeli team won two gold medals and had the Hatikva national anthem played for them. Kara spoke at a communications conference in Dubai.
There have been reports that Israel is on the way to establishing ties with Sudan in Africa, currently in a state of warfare with Israel, and with the Gulf state of Bahrain.