The African Inion’s predecessor the OAU, established in 1963, enshrined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the post-colonial African states. But the AU has sent peacekeeping troops to intervene in conflicts — notably in Somalia.
The African Union (AU) has granted observer status to Israel after nearly 20 years of lobbying by the Jewish state harshly criticised by many of the bloc’s leaders.
Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad Aleli Admasu officially presented his credentials to AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat at the association’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
“This is a day of celebration for Israel-Africa relations,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, noting that his country had diplomatic relations with 46 of the 55 African nation states and “wide-ranging partnerships and joint cooperation in many different fields including trade and aid.”
Israel held observer status in the AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but was not admitted on the same basis when the AU was founded in 2002.
“This corrects the anomaly that has existed for almost two decades and is an important part of strengthening the fabric of Israel’s foreign relations,” Lapid said. “It will help us strengthen our activities on the African continent and with the member states of the organisation.”
But Faki stressed that the AU “has been very clear on its position that in the issue of Palestine and Israel, a Two State Solution is necessary for a peaceful co-existence.”