Netanyahu Heads to Chad to Restore Relations

In this handout from the Israeli GPO, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks up to his aircraft as he departs to Romania on July 6, 2011 in an unspecified city in, Israel. Netanyahu will meet with Romania's President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Emil Boc. (Photo by Moshe Milner/GPO via …
Moshe Milner/GPO via Getty

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister has departed for the central African nation of Chad to officially restore relations.

Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday hailed what he called a “historic and important breakthrough” with the Muslim-majority country that borders Libya and Sudan. Chad’s President Idriss Deby visited Jerusalem in November.

Netanyahu has made great efforts to extend Israeli diplomacy to Africa and has visited the continent several times in recent years. It’s part of an overall policy of seeking allies among developing countries that have historically sided with the Palestinians at the U.N. and other international forums. Netanyahu says this outreach “causes outrage in Iran and among the Palestinians.”

Chad broke off relations with Israel in 1972. It plays a key role in combatting jihadi groups in the Sahara.

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