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Djibouti leader says not considering normalization of ties with Israel

Djibouti is currently not considering a normalization of ties with Israel, the African Muslim-majority nation’s president says.

“No, because the conditions aren’t ripe,” Ismaïl Omar Guelleh tells the Africa Report in an interview. “We neither have a problem with the Jews as a people nor the Israelis as a nation. Some of them even come to Djibouti on business with their passport, and Djibouti’s citizens have been able to travel to Israel for 25 years now.”

However, the small nation on the Horn of Africa takes issue with the Israeli government “because they’re denying Palestinians their inalienable rights,” he adds. “All we ask that the government do is make one gesture of peace, and we will make 10 in return. But I’m afraid they’ll never do that.”

Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh attends the Paris Peace Forum, November 12, 2019 in Paris (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP)

— Raphael Ahren

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