Israel and Senegal renew diplomatic ties

Israel returns its ambassador to Senegal following spat over anti-Israel UN resolution.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Senegal President Macky Sall
Netanyahu and Senegal President Macky Sall
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israel will return its ambassador to Senegal following a diplomatic spat with the West African nation over a UN resolution condemning Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

The statement said ties were restored after Netanyahu met with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Liberia on the sidelines of the Economic Community of West African States summit.

“Israel will immediately return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will support Israel's candidacy as an observer to the African Union. The two countries will also resume joint projects that were suspended in the wake of UNSC Resolution 2334, which Senegal proposed along with New Zealand,” the statement indicated.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Sall also agreed on cooperation in security and agriculture. The Prime Minister invited the Senegalese Foreign Minister to resume his visit to Israel, which had been suspended as a result of the crisis,” it concluded.

Senegal was one of four Security Council members to resubmit the anti-Israel Resolution 2334 for a vote in December, a day after Egypt withdrew the resolution. The other three countries were New Zealand, Malaysia and Venezuela.

The resolution ultimately passed when the United States, under former President Barack Obama, chose not to veto it as it had done with previous anti-Israel resolutions.

After the resolution passed, Israel recalled its ambassadors to Senegal and New Zealand for consultations and later downgraded its ties with both.

Senegal defended its vote in favor of the resolution, with a government spokesman insisting that "Senegal's position must be saluted. The international community hails Senegal's stance, especially the Muslim nations.