President of Chad, Israeli Prime Minister

Opening an embassy in Jerusalem came up in meetings between Israeli officials and a senior delegation from Chad, which arrived in Israel on Tuesday to promote ties between the countries.

The delegation is led by Deputy Director of Chad’s civil cabinet Abdelkerim Idriss Déby, who is also the son of Chad’s President Idriss Déby, and also included the head of Chad’s intelligence agency, Kogri Ahmed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Déby and Ahmed, and discussed opening embassies in each other’s countries, including the possibility that Chad’s would be in Jerusalem, according to the Prime Minister’s Office statement.

They also spoke about possible cooperation on cybersecurity, water and agriculture.

“I do not only want to mark the relations between our countries, but to promote them even more,” the prime minister said.

National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and other members of the National Security Council took part in the meeting.

Netanyahu also told Déby to send warm regards to his father and the citizens of Chad.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen also met with Déby, and said the Chadian official expressed willingness to open an embassy or other official mission in Jerusalem.

“Closer ties between Israel and Chad is a joint interest of the two countries from security and economic standpoints,” Cohen said.

Currently, the only countries with embassies in Jerusalem are the US and Guatemala, but Kosovo and Serbia committed to following suit in their agreements signed in Washington on Friday, and Honduras and Malawi have said they will do the same.

Déby is also expected to meet with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday.

Chad, which has been engaged in a years-long battle with the Boko Haram terrorist group, seeks Israeli arms, security and intelligence expertise, as well as water-use technology, agricultural know-how and better ties with the US.

For Israel, ties with Chad reinforces the message sent by normalizing relations with the UAE and Kosovo, that Muslim states can cooperate with Israel even when there is not peace with the Palestinians.

Israel and Chad broke off relations in 1973, following the Yom Kippur War, when 30 African states cut ties with Israel.

The countries renewed relations in 2018, and Chad’s president visited Israel later that year. Netanyahu went to Chad the following year.

A month after Déby’s 2018 visit to Israel, Chad abstained on a UN vote condemning Hamas, which the country would have likely opposed in the past.