After its observer delegation was kicked out yesterday from the African Union summit opening ceremony in Addis Ababa, Israel is choosing to stay away from the closing ceremony this evening, an Israeli diplomatic official tells The Times of Israel.
Israel blames the incident on Algeria and South Africa, and will summon South Africa’s charge d’affaires to the Foreign Ministry for a reprimand from Director General Ronen Levy.
Last week, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra flew to South Africa to coordinate ahead of the summit, according to Algerian outlets. Israeli sources said the countries were discussing ways to boot Israel, among other topics.
Israel was granted observer status in 2021, but under pressure from South Africa and Algeria, the AU chairman created a six-country committee to examine the issue. Israel and its allies in the organization say that its observer status was never rescinded, while its foes argue that it is suspended until the committee comes back with a recommendation.
The African Union seeks to be a consensus-based body, and is trying to find some common ground on Israel’s status.