Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Chad early Sunday morning, embarking on the first visit there by an Israeli prime minister since Chad had cut off diplomatic relations in 1972. The visit, which follows Chad’s President Idriss Deby’s visit to Jerusalem in November, is expected to conclude with the renewal of diplomatic ties.
Before leaving for Chad, the prime minister said: “I am now embarking on a huge breakthrough in Chad – a huge Muslim country bordering Libya and Sudan. This is part of the revolution we are doing in the Arab and Muslim world. I can tell you that it is very disturbing and even infuriating to Iran and the Palestinians. They’re trying to prevent this, and they did have not succeeded. I promised you great news, and I also promise that there will be more [visits].”
While in Israel, President Deby said at a press conference: “We have a shared struggle against the sickening evil of this century, which is terrorism,” and Netanyahu noted the visit coincides with “changes in relations between Israel and the Arab world.”
But he also insisted said that renewed ties between the Israel and Chad “won’t eliminate the Palestinian problem,” and expressed his hope for a renewed peace process between Israel and the Pa.
Before Deby’s visit to Israel, Reuters cited sources in his government that he is most interested in purchasing Israel military equipment. Last year Israel supplied with weapons to help defeat Libya-supported rebels in the north.
According to Channel 13 News, there has been a serious conflict between the PM’s office, including NSA Meir Ben Shabbat, and the Foreign Ministry—also headed by Netanyahu—over the scope of President Deby’s military shopping list. Apparently, renewing relations would increase Chad’s posture as a military force to reckon with in Africa.