On Sunday, senior officials from an African Muslim nation without diplomatic connections to the Jewish state met with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
The summit was held on the understanding that the host nation’s name wouldn’t be made public.
On the request of William Ruto, the president of Kenya, and Alfred Mutua, the foreign minister, Cohen visited Nairobi for ten hours on Monday. He went to the mid-year coordination meeting of the African Union when he was there.
The representative from the unnamed Muslim nation and Israel’s push to expand the Abraham Accords and oppose Iranian influence in Africa were met during this time.
According to the Foreign Ministry, “normalization contacts are being held with several African countries, including Niger, Mali, and Mauritania.” According to his office, Cohen met with Mutua and other top African officials at the summit.
For “their efforts to advance Israel’s position on the continent and to open doors for the State of Israel in countries on the continent with which we do not yet have diplomatic relations,” Cohen complimented Mutua and Ruto.
According to the press release, during bilateral discussions, “the ministers discussed strengthening the ties between Israel and Kenya and the African continent and expanding the circle of peace with other African countries.”
In light of Iran’s efforts to increase its influence on the continent, his visit to Kenya was also “of regional and strategic importance,” according to Cohen’s office. Israel and Mauritania established diplomatic ties in 1999; however, due to that year’s Gaza war (“Operation Cast Lead”), Mauritania severed those ties.
The few unofficial diplomatic ties that did exist between Israel and Niger weakened during the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.