For the first time in half-a-century, Chad welcomes Israeli envoy

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Israeli diplomat Ben Bourgel presented his credentials to the president of Chad this week - the first time in half-a-century the country has welcomed an Israeli ambassador, as the two countries move to strengthen diplomatic ties.

The Israeli Embassy in Senegal announced on Twitter that Bourgel, the non-resident ambassador to a host of African nations including Senegal, Gambia and Guinea, presented his credentials to Chad President Mahamat Idriss Deby Into on Tuesday.

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On Twitter, the Israeli Embassy said: “This marks an important benchmark in the deepening of the relations between Chad and Israel since their resumption in 2019.

“Ambassador Bourgel and his team will work to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in areas of common interest such as climate change, agriculture, water management and health.”

Israel and Chad had friendly relations in 1960s after the north-central African nation was granted independence from France. But, like a number of its sub-Saharan neighbors, Chad cut off ties with the Jewish state in the early 1970s, due to pressure from the late Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Israel and Chad reestablished relations in 2019, following reciprocal state visits by the late Chadian President Idriss and Israel’s then-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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