News   /   Palestine   /   North Africa   /   Editor's Choice

Algeria trying to revoke Israel’s observer status in African Union

A general view shows the African Union (AU) headquarters building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 8, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra is reportedly spearheading a motion to revoke the decision made by the African Union (AU) Commission to grant Israel observer status at the continental body.

The 69-year-old top Algerian diplomat has traveled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to participate in the 40th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, Al Mayadeen reported.

The meeting is scheduled for February 2 and 3, and will host foreign ministers from member states of the union.

A vote on revoking Israel's observer status at the AU is said to be on “top of the agenda” for the summit. Major African countries, specifically in North Africa, have joined the push to rescind Israel's membership.

Last week, the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement expressed its profound gratitude to Algeria for its great and tireless efforts to have Israel’s AU observer status revoked.

“Hamas has been closely following up preparations for the upcoming African summit in the Ethiopian capital, and the success of the brotherly state of Algeria’s efforts to put expulsion of Israel from the African Union high on the agenda of the meeting," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

He noted that such a position is highly appreciated by Palestinian nation, describing it as a reflection of Algeria’s nobility.

The Hamas official called on Arab and African countries to throw their weight behind Algeria’s efforts in this regard and offer greater cooperation for the success of its bid.

He also said the Algerian position was “a clear reflection of the Arab world’s spirit and the African continent’s principles,” stressing that “African Union member states should be unanimously demanding expulsion of the occupying Israeli regime from the bloc.”

Abu Zuhri underlined that Israel’s observer status in African Union “runs contrary to Africa’s principles and its historical legacy of fighting apartheid, which the occupying regime represents in its ugliest form.”

On July 22 last year, Israel submitted a letter of credence to rejoin the AU as an observer, after nearly 20 years of lobbying, drawing angry reactions from supporters of the Palestinian cause against the regime’s occupation. Israel had previously held the status in the predecessor Organization of African Unity until 2002, when the organization was disbanded and replaced by the AU.

Experts say Israel’s observer status is largely seen as part of the Tel Aviv regime’s continued campaign to normalize ties in Africa.

Several African countries, including Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Algeria, have already opposed Israel’s accreditation.

They say AU member states were not consulted and the decision is in opposition to the body’s support for the Palestinian cause.

Pro-Palestine language is typically featured in statements delivered at the AU’s annual summits. Palestine already has observer status at the African Union.

Last September, a group of international lawyers, researchers and activists filed a complaint with the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, denouncing the recent decision of the African Union to grant Israel an observer status at the regional bloc, and seeking its revocation.

“The human rights violations committed by Israel are contrary to the spirit and purport of the Charter of the African Union, particularly relating to issues of self-determination and decolonization as Israel continues to illegally occupy Palestine in violation of its international obligations and multiple UN resolutions,” the document read.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku