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    Chadian President Idriss Deby answers questions from journalists at the presidential palace in N'Djamena, Chad, April 20, 2016.

    Chad President Wants to Restore Diplomatic Relations With Israel

    © REUTERS / Moumine Ngarmbassa
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - During a historic visit to Israel, President of the Republic of Chad Idriss Deby has said he wants to open a new chapter in bilateral ties between the two nations, which have not had diplomatic relations more than 40 years.

    "We need to melt the ice if it is possible to say so. The future is important, including the future of our relations, the future of our peoples, the future of Israel and Africa. We are here and we want to resume diplomatic relations. Your country is an important partner for us," Deby said at a meeting with Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu, for his part, called Chad a very important partner for Israel.

    "As a leader of an African country, an important African country, a majority of whose population is Muslim, you are coming to Israel to renew our friendship and our relationship. I think it is a testament of what is going to happen with other such countries in Africa as well, and I believe that you are paving the way for many others," the Israeli PM noted.

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    The statements were made after talks between the President of the Republic of Chad Idriss Deby and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

    Both leaders said that despite the rift in diplomatic relations that occurred back in 1972, Israel and Chad have never completely turned off cooperation. Deby also noted that the fight against terrorism had been one of the most important areas of bilateral cooperation.

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    relations, Idriss Deby, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Chad
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