Seven Arab-speaking states reject granting Israel observer status at African Union

A view from opening session of African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2020 (Mınasse Wondımu Haılu - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 4, 2021

Seven Arabic speaking countries told the African Union (AU) yesterday that they reject granting Israel observer status in the bloc, Anadolu reported.

Israeli Ambassador to Addis Ababa Aleli Admasu presented credentials to AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki on 22 July, and Israel was granted observer status to the body.

Several Arab media outlets, including Egypt’s Al-Masry al-Youm newspaper, said that the Algerian, Egyptian, Comoran, Tunisian, Djiboutian, Mauritanian and Libyan embassies to Ethiopia delivered a note to Faki outlining their rejection of the decision, noting that it contradicts the AU’s support for the Palestinian cause and its principles.

They requested that the issue be put up for discussion in the AU’s foreign ministers’ meeting in October.

The embassies of Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and the Arab League mission in Addis Ababa expressed solidarity with the Arab countries.

Algeria said on 25 July that the decision was taken without consultations.

Israel has established ties with six out of 22 Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab EmiratesBahrainSudan and Morocco.

Relations deteriorated between African nations and Israel in the 1960s as Tel Aviv expanded and occupied Palestinian territories in 1967, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, in addition to the Golan Heights in Syria and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

Egypt reclaimed the Sinai under a peace pact with Israel in 1979.