Algeria slams African Union over Israel’s observer status

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Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has denounced the African Union’s decision to grant Israel an observer status as a “double mistake.”

“We were not the ones who initiated the granting of observer status to anyone,” Lamamra said in an interview with Radio France International and France 24 satellite channel in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, ahead of the opening of the 35th Africa Union summit on Saturday.

“There is a double fault with this case,” he added.

Lamamra said, “The first mistake was to grant an observer status (to Israel) without conducting consultations with the AU member states, including Algeria,” the minister said, adding that the decision “was bad and should not have been taken.”

He noted that had “prior consultations taken place, the decision would not have been taken without a doubt.”

Lamamra added that the second mistake “was that there was a division among the member states on this issue and this was left without any attempt to correct it.”

“This is bad for the organization,” he said, warning that it “may jeopardize the solidarity that must exist between the member states.”

Several AU countries are expected to demand revocation of Israel’s observer status in the pan-African body during the 2-day AU summit.

On July 22, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that its Ambassador to Ethiopia, Admasu al-Ali, had submitted his credentials as an observer member to the AU.

Later, the Arab media reported that seven Arab countries had informed the AU of their objection to granting Israel an observer status in the continental organization, a position endorsed by the League of Arab States.

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