On Saturday, an Israeli delegation was expelled from the African Union summit in Ethiopia.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry attributed this action to “extreme” Iran-inspired nations.
The foreign ministry said, “Israel looks sternly upon the event where the [Foreign Ministry] Deputy Director for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, was removed from the African Union hall despite her status as an accredited observer with access cards.”
“It is terrible to see that a few powerful nations, including Algeria and South Africa, who are motivated by hatred and under the direction of Iran, have taken the African Union captive. We urge the African nations to oppose these behaviors because they are detrimental to the African Union as a whole and the continent as a whole.
According to the foreign ministry, the charge d’affaires at South Africa’s mission in Israel would be called in for a warning.
According to the ministry, “the attempt to revoke Israel’s observer status has no validity in the organization’s regulations.”
According to Reuters, Bar-Li was removed because she was not the anticipated official, the accredited Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, according to Ebba Kalondo, the African Union’s commission chairman spokesperson.
Israel received official observer status in July 2021, and numerous non-African nations and organizations currently possess the title, including “Palestine” among them.
After losing its position in 2002 when the Organization of African Unity was dissolved to make room for the African Union as a replacement, Israel has been attempting to regain it for the past 20 years.
The 55-member A.U. met last year, and at that meeting, a vote on Israel’s observer status was postponed in favor of forming a committee to look into the issue; the committee’s report was scheduled to be given during the current summit.
“Before the A.U. You cannot have the nation observe as the other country decides whether to offer Israel observer status, according to Clayson Monyela, head of public diplomacy at South Africa’s department of international affairs, who spoke to Reuters.
In his remarks at the previous summit, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh declared that “Israel should never be rewarded for its violation and the apartheid regime it does impose on the Palestinian people.”
Improving Jerusalem’s ties with Africa is one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top foreign policy priorities.
Along with the visiting president of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the prime minister dedicated the Embassy of the Republic of Chad in Israel at the beginning of February.
The Sudanese transitional government’s head, General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, was met by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Khartoum on the same day.
Cohen declared that the two nations would sign a peace treaty this year in Washington upon returning to Israel.
According to Cohen, “Today’s visit to Sudan provides the groundwork for a historic peace pact with a strategically important Arab and Muslim country.” The peace deal between Israel and Sudan will advance regional stability and boost the country’s security.
Under the Trump administration, Khartoum first consented to restore diplomatic ties with Israel in October 2020 in exchange for the United States removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. It joined the Abraham Accords as the fourth nation in January 2021.
Although the current development with Sudan is being hailed as a peace pact regarding agreements negotiated between Israel and Egypt (1979) and Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco have all signed the accords (1994).
Israeli delegation expelled from the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pic.twitter.com/q7qGSPX3gE
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) February 18, 2023