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February 19, 2023 2:49 pm

South Africa’s Ruling Party Hails ‘Encouraging’ Expulsion of Israeli Diplomat

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avatar by i24 News

The African Union logo is seen outside the AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

i24 News -South Africa’s ruling ANC party on Sunday welcomed the “encouraging” expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

Sharon Bar-Li, Israel’s foreign ministry deputy director general for Africa, was escorted out of the assembly in Addis Ababa on Saturday. Israel condemned the “severe” incident, suggesting that South Africa and Algeria were behind the move, “motivated by hatred and controlled by Iran.”

In a statement, the African National Congress (ANC) supported the ousting, comparing Israel to an “apartheid state.” The party said the expulsion was aimed at “thwarting an attempt to undermine the current sitting AU Summit from considering a report that is supposed to guide discussions on whether Israel must be granted an observer status.”

The spokesperson for the chairman of the African Union Commission, Ebba Kalondo, had earlier claimed that Bar-Li had not been personally invited to the summit. However, the Israeli foreign ministry’s spokesperson said that the diplomat had “valid accreditation as an observer.”

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