President of Chad seeks Israel's help in fighting rebel groups on Libyan border

Alwasat - Cairo Tue 27 Nov 2018, 08:56 PM
alwasat radio

Chadian President Idriss Deby visited to Israel to request help in his fight against armed groups.

The Chadian army of 250,000 troops is fighting on three fronts near southern Libya, mainly in an oil-rich region, from which Libya's oil pipeline network would be transferred to Mediterranean export ports.

"The visit is focused on security,” one source said, adding that Israel has supplied the Chadian army with weaponry and other equipment this year to help in its fight against northern rebels.

“This is the first visit of a Chad president in Israel since the establishment of the state (of Israel). It follows many diplomatic efforts led by Prime Minister Netanyahu in the last few years,” the statement said.

“We have a shared struggle against terrorism," Deby said during a joint press event on Sunday with Netanyahu.

The Netanyahu government has been investing in outreach to Africa, where some countries previously warm to Israel have kept their distance since its occupation of the Palestinian territories in the 1967 Middle East war.

In July 2016, Deby hosted the then-director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, for exploratory talks on improving bilateral relations. Gold told Israel Radio on Sunday that his Chadian hosts told him that they had cut off ties 44 years prior under Libyan pressure, a factor removed with the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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