Israel, Guinea renew diplomatic ties after almost half a century

Israel and Guinea ended a 49-year rupture in relations as they renewed diplomatic ties on Wednesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

The predominantly Muslim West African Republic cut off ties with Israel in 1967 because of the Six-Day War, in which Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold signed an agreement with Ibrahim Khalil Kaba, Guinean President Alpha Conde’s chief of staff, in Paris.

"This is an important closing of a circle," said Gold, according to a Foreign Ministry statement, adding the number of African states that had yet to renew ties with Israel was growing smaller.

"Israel calls on states that haven't yet renewed diplomatic relations to follow in Guinea's footsteps," he said.

He said Israel helped Guinea fight the Ebola virus by donating the largest sum per capita of any country to a fund set up by the United Nations and by sending a mobile clinic.

Israel would also offer the country its know-how in fields like agriculture, water management and security.

Israel and African nations should be "joining hands" in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, which threatens not only the Middle East, but also Africa, he urged.

Benjamin Netanyahu paid a five-day visit to four East African states early this month, the first Israeli prime minister to do so in some 50 years. 

Last update: Wed, 20/07/2016 - 19:04
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