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Chadian president meets Israeli PM ahead of embassy opening

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) on Feb. 01, 2023.   -  
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Chadian president Mahamat Deby met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday.

Mahamat Deby is visiting Israel to open the central African nation’s embassy in the Jewish state, building on their diplomatic relations, established five years ago.

In 2019, during Netanyahu’s last term, he and late president Idriss Deby Itno, Mahamat Deby’s father, announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.

The elder Deby, who ruled the Muslim-majority nation for more than three decades, was killed in 2021 on the battlefield in a fight against rebels. His son replaced him as president at the head of a military junta.

Upon landing in Israel Tuesday night, Deby was received at the airport by Mossad chief David Barnea. The Chadian delegation then headed to Mossad headquarters in Glilot for a celebratory meeting.

Mossad played a central role in maintaining quiet ties with Chad after 1972, and in working towards full normalization in recent years.

"It is in our view a tremendously important relationship with a major country in the heart of Africa. It is something that we want to carry to new levels, new heights, and your visit here in Israel and the opening of the embassy reflects that," shared Benjamin Netanyahu.

"It is above all thanks to the efforts made by the Marshal of Chad Idriss Deby Itno, rest his soul, and your personal investment which made it possible to renew relations after 5 decades," Added

Netanyahu and Deby will open the embassy Thursday morning, details on its location are yet to be specified. Though most countries keep embassies in Tel Aviv.

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