Angola Becomes Latest Nation to Forge Relations with Israel

The People’s Republic of Angola has joined the growing list of countries to have full diplomatic ties with Israel.

The move was announced by the U.N. ambassadors of the two countries at a ceremony Thursday at the Angolan Mission to the United Nations.

The step was agreed upon in January, when Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy met in Lisbon with his Angolan counterpart, Pedro de Castro dos Santos Van-Dunem.

This brings to 18 the number of African countries with ties to Israel. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, all but four African countries broke their ties with Israel. Angola, however, did not become independent until 1975.

An exchange of ambassadors remains to be discussed between the two countries. Israel’s foreign service, and Foreign Ministry budget, has been strained by the rapid burst of diplomatic ties since the end of the Cold War.

In recent months, Israel has established relations with China, India and several newly independent republics of the former Soviet Union.

And on Thursday, Israel recognized the independence of the Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia.

As for the strain on Israeli resources, “it’s a problem we like facing,” said one Israel diplomat, adding that negotiations are under way to establish ties with other African countries.

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