Historic Africa-Israel Summit in Togo Postponed Indefinitely

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Togo President Faure Gnassingbe informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the summit's cancellation, stating that there would be a lot involved in preparing for such a summit and this would take time.

"Following the request of the president of Togo and after mutual consultations with the Prime Minister, it has been made a decision to postpone the holding of the Africa-Israel summit, which was due to take place in Lomé in October, to a mutually agreed upon date", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The sources described the summit cancellation as a political blow to Netanyahu and his plans to promote the Israeli-African relations.

The first ever Israel-Africa Summit scheduled to take place in October has been called off in the aftermath of boycott threats by a number of countries and pressure against the event from Palestinians and Arab countries.

In an attempt to improve relations with African states, the Israeli premier went on a tour of East African countries - namely Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia - in July 2016.

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"I remain convinced that all parties want to move forward on the reforms... in order to reach a consensus to respond to the legitimate expectations of the Togolese people", Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the UN Special Envoy for West Africa and the Sahel, said in a statement released over the weekend.

The cancelation of the Africa-Israel summit, slated to take place between October 23 and 27, will upend Israel's efforts to build trade partnerships in Africa, and secure global allies in its attempts to gain a seat on the United Nations (UN) security council next year.

In its statement to the press, the Foreign Ministry said that the event had been "postponed" but it did not provide an alternative date.

The delay came amid reports that Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania had made a decision to boycott the gathering.

This period of Afro-Israeli relations came to an end during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the oil crisis which saw African nations cut ties with Israel in solidarity with Egypt and other Arab countries.

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