Israel became an observer member of the African Union on Thursday, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Israel rejoins the Organization of the African Union as an observer state for the first time since 2002,” according to the country’s Foreign Ministry portal.
Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister, said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies throughout the continent worked tirelessly to accomplish this diplomatic success. This resolves a problem that has been present for nearly two decades.”
This, according to Lapid, “would assist us in strengthening our work on the African continent and with the organization’s member states,” stressing that
“The two parties will be able to collaborate in battling Corona and preventing the development of extreme terrorism throughout the continent,” Lapid said, referring to the country’s observer status in the African Union.
The African Union (AU) was founded on July 9, 2002, with 55 African countries as members. The idea for its creation dates back to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader who campaigned for it in the mid-1990s.