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Cape Verde says it will no longer vote against Israel at the UN

Vague pledge comes two months after Netanyahu met with tiny West African island nation’s president Jorge Carlos Fonseca

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu (right) meeting with Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca during a summit in Monrovia, July 4, 2017 (screen grab YouTube)
Prime Minister Netanyahu (right) meeting with Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca during a summit in Monrovia, July 4, 2017 (screen grab YouTube)

Cape Verde has announced that it will no longer vote against Israel in the United Nations, the Prime Minister’s Office said Wednesday.

The decision of the tiny island nation, located off the coast of West Africa, comes two months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca during a summit in Monrovia, Liberia.

“I welcome the decision of the president of Cape Verde. This is the result of intensive diplomatic activity between Israel and Africa,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued Wednesday night.

It is unclear what exactly Fonseca told his UN ambassador, and whether Cape Verde will oppose or abstain on Israel-related resolutions, or whether he decided that his nation will from now indefinitely side with Israel on any resolution regardless of its content.

Cape Verde, a mostly Christian country, has about 525,000 inhabitants.

Netanyahu has declared diplomatic outreach to Africa as one of this key foreign policy objectives, hoping to break the traditional anti-Israel majority in international organizations such as the UN. In the last 14 months, he has visited the continent twice and is currently planning to attend a major Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October.

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