JERUSALEM (Jan. 1)
Government sources expressed surprise today over the break in diplomatic relations with Israel by Brazaville Congo and said they could think of no apparent reason for the sudden move announced yesterday in Brazaville. Brazaville-Congo is the third African state to sever relations with Israel in recent months. The others are Chad and Uganda.
Israeli officials, asked to comment on the apparent wave of anti-Israel feeling in Black African nations, said they were “of course, not pleased by this development but it doesn’t worry us.” They attributed the breaks to a “growing radicalization.” in some African quarters and to “stepped up” propaganda efforts by Libya and Saudi Arabia. Uganda broke ties with Israel last Sept. after President Idi Amin’s visit to Libya. Chad severed relations last month following a visit by King Saud of Saudi Arabia to that country.
Israel announced last week that it was replacing its ambassador in Brazaville-Congo with a non-resident charges d’affaires and was also closing its Embassy in Niger. The down-grading was attributed by Foreign Ministry sources here to budget cuts and “a general reappraisal of our relations in Africa and around the world.”