In a closing statement of the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the regional bloc reaffirmed its “full support” for the State of Palestine.
The statement comes just a day after an Israeli delegation informally is removed From the opening ceremony of the summit.
The Israeli delegation was expelled from the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pic.twitter.com/q7qGSPX3gE
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On Sunday, AU commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat confirmed that Israel’s observer status has been suspended since last year and that no Israeli officials have been invited to the summit this year.
“Last year, we discussed the question of Israel’s status as an observer in the African Union. After these various discussions, the convention decided to set up an ad hoc committee of heads of state on the question, meaning that the legislation was suspended until the committee could deliberate. And that’s why we didn’t invite Israeli officials to our summit,” declared Mahamat.
“We found that there is a personality who enters the room with a badge and naturally, we asked him to leave the premises. We are in the process of doing the necessary investigation because he does not live here, he has come from Israel, and whenever anybody comes here, he is invited, he is invited by the African Union Commission Chairman. The officer was not invited,” the AU official said.
In 2021, Mahamat granted Israel observer status to the AU, causing an uproar in the Pan-African bloc and sparking protests, particularly from Algeria and South Africa.
Tel Aviv on Saturday blamed Iran for the public humiliation of its officials and called it “some extremist states like Algeria and South Africa”.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has said it plans to summon South Africa’s ambassador for a reprimand, insisting in a statement that Tel Aviv “looks sternly at the incident.”
The ministry also said that South Africa’s charge d’affaires would be summoned for a reprimand by the Israeli ministry’s director-general, Ronen Levy.
Israel’s foreign ministry said, “There is no basis in the Organization’s regulations for attempting to revoke Israel’s observer status.”