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Abbas to Africa: Put Palestinian plight ahead of forging ties with Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday urged African nations not to bolster their ties with Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and accused “Israel of doing all that it can to undermine” Palestinian statehood.

Israel has embarked on a diplomatic push over the past year to bolster ties with several African countries, but Abbas told African leaders at the 28th summit of the African Union that they should look beyond whatever interest they have in forging ties with Israel.

“We urge you that this should not be done at the expense of the just cause of our Palestinian people, which still needs your help to get rid of the abhorrent Israeli occupation,” Abbas said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, according to a report in the official PA news outlet Wafa.

Improving ties with Africa has been one of Netanyahu’s key foreign policy priorities, which led to his July visit to four countries in Eastern Africa, where he met with seven heads of state. Two months later he held a meeting with more than 15 African leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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