Morocco and the Palestinian authorities pressure African countries to boycott an Africa-Israel summit

According to Jerusalem Post, Morocco and the Palestinian authorities are pressuring Togo into canceling an Africa-Israel summit scheduled for October in Lomé, the Togolese capital.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a welcoming ceremony in his honor as he arrives in Monrovia./Ph. The Times of Israel
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The Togolese capital, Lomé, is expected to host the first Africa-Israel summit in October. Morocco and the Palestinian authorities are trying to convince the African Islamic countries to boycott this meeting, reports Jerusalem Post quoting senior African officials.

The Israeli online newspaper, states that the Togolese president, Faure Gnassingbe is being «pressured» to cancel the upcoming summit. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas has called the Muslim countries in Africa not to attend the summit in regard of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As for the kingdom, allowing the Jewish state into the continent is quiet challenging. Israel is a potential «competitor» to the Moroccan interest in Africa, a source told Jerusalem Post. «Morocco is trying to come back to Africa as a superpower», the source claimed adding that the Kingdom «sees Israel as a competition, and is telling African leaders to be careful about attending the summit and that it will create problems for them in getting subsidies from Saudi Arabia or Islamic organizations».

The initiative might not succeed

Ignoring the Moroccan and Palestinian «pressure», the Togolese president is expected to send invitations to 54 African states to take part of the four-day Africa-Israeli summit. Jerusalem Post indicated that around 30 head of states are supposed to attend the meeting in Lomé. Moreover, Faure Gnassingbé will travel to Israel next week on a three-day unofficial visit.

However, the Moroccan and Palestinian endeavors are likely to fail. Quoting a source that requested anonymity, Jerusalem Post said that despite the political risks following the holding of this summit, Gnaddingbé is determined to organize the summit. «If you hold an Africa-Africa summit, nobody cares, including the international media», the source told the Israeli media platform. «But if you do something with Israel, you will get some kind of coverage – either positive or negative- because Israel is involved», the source concluded.

Following the footsteps of Israel, Saudi Arabia is preparing for a high-level meeting with the African Union. The Saudi kingdom will host leaders of the African Union in Ryad on December.

For the record, King Mohammed VI did not attend the Economic Community of West African States summit (ECOWAS) held in Liberia on the 4th of June. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister who has declared before that he hopes to meet the Moroccan sovereign, has taken part of the African meeting.