The two Muslim-majority nations in West Africa have recently upgraded their relations with Israel. While both countries had existing diplomatic ties with Israel, neither had appointed an Ambassador to the Jewish state.
Talla Fall, of Senegal, and Amara Camara, of Guinea, are scheduled to present their respective letters of credentials to President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday at a ceremony in Jerusalem, officially taking up their positions as non-resident Ambassadors to Israel. Ambassador Fall, who also represents Senegal in Egypt, will be based in Cairo, and Ambassador Camara will work out of Paris.
Senegal and Jerusalem agreed to normalise ties two months ago, after Israel had recalled its Ambassador following Senegal’s co-sponsorship of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December 2o16, which singled out Israel. In June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Senegal’s President Macky Sall at a summit of West African leaders in Liberia, after which the two leaders announced the resumption of full ties.
Guinea and Israel renewed diplomatic relations in July 2016, nearly 50 years after they had been severed.
Israel’s Ambassador to the two states, Paul Hirschson, told the Times of Israel: “Israel isn’t burdened by the past, as are many of the former colonial countries, in our discourse with African countries. Ours is a relationship of partnership”.
In the last 14 months, Prime Minister Netanyahu has visited Africa twice and is planning to attend a major Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October. Seven African leaders ave also visited Israel in recent months.