An Israeli delegation visited Chad earlier this month to hold talks on cooperation between the two countries on a range of issues including water, energy, education and business, the Economy Ministry said in a statement Monday.
The August 5-7 trip was led by the director of foreign trade at the Economy Ministry. It came after Israel in January renewed relations with Chad, a Muslim-majority African country.
It was not clear why the visit was announced at such a delay.
Along with the Economy Ministry, the delegation included officials from the regional cooperation and the agriculture ministries as well as a representative from the Israel Export Institute.
The Israelis met with ministers and senior officials from the Chadian finance, agriculture, water, energy, sales, communications, education, and health ministries. They also held talks with representatives from the World Bank and the US Embassy in Chad.
During talks it was agreed that senior Chadian officials would make a reciprocal visit to Israel.
Chad reestablished ties with Israel during a single-day visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January, which came after Chad’s President Idriss Déby visited Israel.
Chad had severed ties with Israel in 1972, due to pressure from Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Netanyahu has traveled three times to Africa in the last two years, visiting Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Liberia. He regularly vows to expand ties with all countries on the continent, including those that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel’s diplomatic push in Africa is aimed mainly at boosting trade and improving its international status, and is also driven in part by a desire to ease air travel to Latin America. Flying in the airspace of traditionally hostile African countries would allow airlines to offer faster, more direct flights between Israel and the region.