The President of Malawi said that his country would open an embassy in Jerusalem
Lazarus Chakwera made the announcement Saturday as part of a larger expansion of the country’s diplomatic representation abroad. Malawi currently does not have a diplomatic mission in Israel.
The announcement came a day after Serbia and Kosovo announced that they too would open Jerusalem embassies.
In 1967, Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza-Strip and the Golan Heights after the Six Day War reset its relations with Africa, as Israel began to be perceived as a colonizing state.
After the Israeli-Arab war in 1973, many sub-Saharan countries broke off diplomatic ties and shifted to a more pro-Arab alliance. The African Union granted Palestinians non-member observer status at AU summits, but did not extend this to Israel .
But during 1970s, when most African nations renounced their diplomatic ties with Israel, development programs continued — albeit on a smaller scale. And military and intelligence cooperation continued with some of Africa’s autocratic regimes. Although it had previously condemned the regime, Israel also strengthened its ties with the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which still hampers its relationship with that country.
On a diplomatic level, although Israel has ties with 42 African states, it only has ten embassies on the continent. The strategic interest of gaining more political support is seen as a long-term strategy.
Most countries with diplomatic missions in Israel locate them in Tel Aviv. The Trump administration moved the American embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, more than two decades after Congress first mandated such a move.
On Sunday, chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the Palestinian Authority would sever relations with any country that opens an embassy in Jerusalem. – Agencies