Secret contacts were held recently between Israel and Chad over the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations, journalist Barak Ravid reported on Channel 10 News on Wednesday.
According to the report, the contacts have been held over the past three months. Chad is a large Arabic-speaking Muslim republic in Central Africa that severed ties with Jerusalem more than 40 years ago under pressure from the Arab states.
It was also reported that the President of Chad, Idriss Deby, wishes to send his son to Israel to convey a message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and to discuss with him the renewal of ties.
Netanyahu has visited the African continent three times over the past three years. These trips had the stated goal of establishing ties with countries with which Israel had no diplomatic relations. One of these countries is Chad. Two years ago, an attempt was made to renew relations with the state, but the attempt did not yield results.
According to Wednesday’s report, an unexpected appeal from Chad came in May. Two private individuals, French-Jewish businessman Philip Solomon and Rabbi Avraham Moyal, turned to Israel's ambassador to UNESCO at the time, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, and asked him to convey a message about the President of Chad's desire to restart talks on renewing relations with Israel.
Ambassador Shama-Hacohen reported to Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem, who authorized him to continue the talks. Senior officials at the National Security Council in the Prime Minister's Office were briefed on the talks.