Israel summons South Africa envoy after Israeli diplomat expelled from AU meeting

Middle East Monitor  /  February 20, 2023

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it would summon the South African ambassador for a reprimand after the ministry’s Deputy Director of African Affairs, Sharon Bar Li, was expelled on Saturday from the African Union summit in Addis Ababa at the request of South Africa and Algeria.

The ministry “looks harshly upon the incident” in which the high-ranking Israeli representative was expelled from the meeting even though she had the required credentials and entry badge, according to the Foreign Ministry statement

The ministry also said that the South African chargé d’affaires would be summoned for a reprimand by the Israeli ministry’s Director General, Ronen Levy.

“There is no basis in the organization’s rules for the attempt to cancel Israel’s observer status,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry added, according to the Times of Israel. “There is a clear majority that supports Israel’s observer status at the organization.”

The ministry described the AU as “being hostage to a small number of extremist states like Algeria and South Africa, motivated by hatred and controlled by Iran.”