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Ivory Coast UN Envoy Hopes Israeli-african Ties Will Be Restored

May 3, 1979
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Addressing a World Jewish Congress group here, the Ivory Coast Ambassador to the United Nations, Amoakon-Edjampan Thiemele, expressed the hope that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and all subsequent decisions would be followed by the eventual restoration of diplomatic relations between African countries and Israel. “Israel has maintained good commercial relations with many African countries, including the Ivory Coast, even without diplomatic relations,” he said.

Thiemele doubted that the radical Arab members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) notably Algeria and Libya, would succeed in carrying out the Baghdad resolution to expel Egypt from the OAU. Egypt was above all an African country, he said, and African countries were therefore likely to show solidarity with it in its peace efforts.

Libya’s incursions into Uganda and Chad, which have violated the principle of territorial integrity, would probably affect the views of many African countries south of the Sahara in relation to the Middle East conflict, he said.

The WJC said the Ambassador’s views are significant because most of the African countries have not yet reacted officially to the peace treaty, although many of them praised the Camp David accord at the last session of the UN General Assembly. They are expected to discuss the situation in the Middle East at the upcoming summits of the OAU in Liberia and the Non-Aligned Movement in Havana in preparation for the UN Assembly debate this coming fall. The Ivory Coast was one of the last countries to break diplomatic relations with Israel and had also voted against the 1975 General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism.

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