Israel to become African Union ‘observer’?

africa property of sos 2

I-24 NEWS – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push for his country to be granted “observer status” at the African Union gained the backing of continental heavyweight Ethiopia on Thursday.

“Israel is working very hard in many African countries. There is no reason to deny this observer position to Israel,” said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as Netanyahu began the last leg of this week’s four-nation Africa tour.

The position of observer is granted to some non-African countries who wish to engage with the AU, follow proceedings and address its gatherings. Israel had been an observer at the AU’s predecessor organization but its status was not renewed at the AU’s founding in 2002.

The 54-member organisation, headquartered in Addis Ababa, would be an important diplomatic ally for Israel, as is Ethiopia which begins a two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has used his country’s AU observer status since 2013 to attend AU summits, deliver addresses and shore up diplomatic support in the long-running dispute with Israel.

Speaking in Addis Ababa, Netanyahu bemoaned the “gap between what is happening in practice… and in multilateral institutions”.

“Africa for us is a major strategic effort,” he said, repeating a mantra heard in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda in recent days.

“All African countries can benefit from renewed cooperation with Israel,” he said. “Israel is coming back to Africa.”

Relations between Africa and Israel have been strained over the years. In the 1960s the Arab-Israeli conflict drove a wedge between African countries, many of which were embroiled in liberation struggles, and the Jewish state.

Later, wars between Israel and its neighbors in 1967 and 1973 led North African nations to urge sub-Saharan African states to cut ties with Israel, which many did.

Israel’s support for the apartheid regime in South Africa — which ended in 1994 — also soured relations with much of the rest of the continent.

Hailemariam said differences can be overcome “by engagement not isolation.

“Israel needs to come to Africa and we need to engage with Israel,” he said.

Netanyahu, who was accompanied by a 70-strong Israeli business delegation, praised Africa’s — and Ethiopia’s — economic potential.

“For too long Africa was treated like an afterthought by much of the world. Many focused on its problems, few saw its opportunities. No longer! We are clearly seeing Ethiopia’s potential and Africa’s potential,” Netanyahu said.

  1. #1 by Haris Mačkić on 07/10/2016 - 12:45 pm

    Let Africa and people of Africa live and creates their destinations with their own people and citizens and pick their observers from countries who never have any problems with their own neighborhood. Interfering to help others before helping theirs own problems don’t look very promising to those who are in need to be helped. People from Africa know who they are and know their own history better then anybody else and the most importantly they’re not interfere with any country’s agendas.
    May Almighty God help them to stay the ways they’re such as beautiful and pure hearted and soul people who loves everything and everyone without any bad intentions. May Almighty God protect them to stay pure with their soul and with their love because one day mankind may need help from African people to teach us how to get moral character back again. They never oppress and never make haos and confusion in any country or even continent. In a contrary others where doing that to them. How many people from Africa where stolen and brought to other continents just to be a free workers and slaves for rich people. Even after Almighty God officially condem and prohibit in a last Almighty Book 15 centuries a go. If we claim that ‘We didn’t know’ back there, nobody can say now.
    Nobody ever as representatives of mankind apologize them for that. Any country if they really like can see still wounds in Africans soul and hearts for being treated like that. But they’re strong, forgiving and proud to ever ask for any apologies even if they have every right for that. Why to make them dirty with our bad desire and character and who give us right to do so forever?
    We must remember what happened in a history with African people and if we want to help them sincerely we must choose those among us who are citizens of mankind not just from one country.
    And in order to walk in African continent we must lower our heads if we as a mankind want to have bright future and prosperity in our own countries. If we chose any different approach we may get punishment from our Creator once and for all. We must be very careful.

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