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Gulf and African delegates arrive in Israel to discuss ties

March 30, 2023

By Itamar Eichner

More than 20 guests, some from countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel, arrive for a historic conference in Jerusalem tackling war on terror and radicalization, desalination and food security

More than 20 guests from various countries in the Gulf and Africa arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a historic visit to Jerusalem.

Among the guests, some of whom came from countries with which Israel has no diplomatic ties, are representatives of think tanks, applied-diplomacy institutes, and journalists. They will be taking part in a three-day conference on Israel’s relations with African and Gulf countries.

Among the guests who came to the conference, initiated by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, are representatives of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Djibouti, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Sudan—states that do not have diplomatic ties with Israel. In addition, representatives came from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, and Uganda. Among the attendees were the former head of the Journalists Association of Bahrain and a senior Saudi reporter.

In addition to panels on Israel’s relations with the Gulf States and with African countries, the guests toured important sites around the country, visited the Knesset, and met with Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana. President Isaac Herzog sent a recorded welcome message to the participants, and National Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi held a discussion with them.

Dan Diker, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said: “This is an unprecedented, historic meeting of representatives of countries that, in the current climate, were not supposed to come to Israel and discuss strengthening Israel’s ties with Africa and bolstering the Abraham Accords.”

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