PARIS (Oct. 5)
Israel is about to renew its diplomatic relations with a number of African states according to reports in the French press. Among the countries mentioned as about to renew their formal ties with Israel are the Ivory Coast, Togo and the Gabon.
The French leftwing daily, Liberation, says that the head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s African Department, Avi Primor, conferred in Paris with several African Presidents, including those of Togo, Liberia and Zaire.
The paper said Primor and a delegation of Israeli officials were planning to attend the Franco-African summit now meeting in Vittel but gave in to French requests and remained in Paris so as not to embarrass the delegations from overwhelmingly Moslem African states.
Primor told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that at no time had he planned to go to Vittel and also denied most of these meetings. As for the resumption of diplomatic ties, he said “We hope indeed that most African countries will sooner or later resume their relations with us. Obviously, we hope that this will be sooner and not later and think they should never have broken off their relations with Israel.”
Israel’s relations with Africa will be one of the main subjects discussed at the Vittel conference attended by delegations from 37 African states. The subject will not be formally presented but diplomatic sources say they expect most African delegates to discuss the issue with the Presidents and delegations of the two countries which renewed them recently, Zaire and Liberia.