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Senior Israeli diplomat ejected from African Union summit as row escalates

ADDIS ABABA, Feb 18 (Reuters) – A senior Israeli diplomat on Saturday was faraway from the African Union’s annual summit in Ethiopia, as a dispute over Israel’s accreditation to the bloc escalated.

Photos posted on-line confirmed AU safety personnel confronting the diplomat throughout the opening ceremony of the summit, earlier than she left the auditorium.

“Israel appears to be like harshly upon the incident by which the deputy director for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, was faraway from the African Union corridor regardless of her standing as an accredited observer with entrance badges,” the overseas ministry mentioned.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokesperson for the African Union’s fee chairman, mentioned the diplomat had been eliminated as a result of she was not the duly accredited Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, the official who was anticipated.

However Israel blamed the incident on South Africa and Algeria, two key nations within the 55-country bloc, saying they have been holding the AU hostage and have been pushed by “hate”.

Israel’s International Ministry mentioned the cost d’affaires at South Africa’s embassy can be summoned for a reprimand.

“The try to cancel Israel’s observer standing has no foundation within the group’s legal guidelines,” the ministry mentioned.

South Africa rejected the declare, saying Israel’s utility for observer standing on the AU has not been determined upon by the bloc.

“Till the AU takes a choice on whether or not to grant Israel observer standing, you can not have the nation sitting and observing,” Clayson Monyela, head of public diplomacy in South Africa’s division of worldwide relations, advised Reuters.

“So, it’s not about South Africa or Algeria, it’s a problem of precept.”

South Africa’s ruling celebration has traditionally been a robust supporter of the Palestinian trigger.

The Algerian delegation on the summit was not instantly obtainable for a remark.

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