Not just a big deal, but a really big deal. Here are your Top Ten reasons:
- It has historic significance as the first official visitof a Chadian head of state to Israel.
- President Idriss Déby travelled to Jerusalemto be received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Déby announced that Chad, a Muslim country using Arabic as its official language, will re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel after a 46-year hiatus.
- This comes one week after Oman called Israel “a fact of life in the Middle East”.
- It gives momentum to Netanyahu’s newly announced plans to visit Bahrain.
- Déby stated Chad’s interest in agricultural cooperation with Israel and can benefit from Israel’s cutting-edge world-class water management technology.
- His visit points towards realizing the potential for increased connections between Israel and Africa, and between Israel and Muslim countries.
- It signifies a continuing shift in East African geopolitics, moving Chad into greater alignment Israel, Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, as against the Qatar-Somalia-Sudan-Turkey bloc.
- It reinforces Netanyahu’s work to establish relations with both Bahrain and Sudan.
- It thus adds Chad to Ethiopia as one of the countries “in play” in the region, with Eritrea and Somaliland aligned with the Israel-Egypt group, while Somalia and Sudan are already oriented with the Qatar-Turkey bloc.
So yes, not just a big deal, but a really big deal.