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Flag of Republic of Mali

The prime minister of the Muslim-majority nation of Mali is expected to visit Israel in the coming weeks, according to a report broadcast this week by Israel’s Channel 13 TV news.

The visit by Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga is expected to take place before Israel’s upcoming elections on April 9, according to the report.

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Maiga met in 2018 with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Liberia. Following their meeting, Netanyahu’s office issued a brief statement announcing that relations between the two nations were entering a “warming” period.

The land-locked Western African nation cut ties with Israel in 1973, following the Yom Kippur War, at a time in which a number of African nations chose to side with their Arab allies rather than maintain ties with Israel and alienate the more powerful Arab states.

The central African nation of Chad – another Muslim-majority country that severed ties with Israel around the time of the Yom Kippur War – announced the renewal of its diplomatic relations with Israel this week.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.