June 5, 2017 / 7:08 AM / a year ago

Israel and Senegal end diplomatic rift after leaders' meeting

President of Senegal Macky Sall attends the opening of the Africa Action Summit, on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s ambassador to Senegal will return to his post after he was recalled last year following Dakar’s support of a U.N. Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements.

The announcement was made after a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senegal President Macky Sall on the sidelines of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gathering in Liberia

Netanyahu addressed ECOWAS as a guest speaker on Sunday and met several African leaders, including Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the president of Mali, a Muslim state with whom Israel has no diplomatic relations.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said Senegal had agreed to support Israel’s candidacy to become an observer nation at the Organisation of African Unity.

The two states also agreed to resume joint projects and cooperation in security and agriculture, the statement added.

Senegal, New Zealand, Malaysia and Venezuela, sponsored last December’s Security Council resolution demanding Israel end its settlement activity on occupied territory which the Palestinians hope will be part of an eventual independent state.

Netanyahu recalled the envoys to Senegal and New Zealand, Israel has no diplomatic ties with Malaysia and Venezuela.

The resolution passed in the 15-member Security Council because the United States, under the administration of former president Barack Obama, broke with its long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power, instead abstaining.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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