Israel summit due to be held in October has been postponed

Africa-Israel summit called off

Africa-Israel summit called off

Emmanuel Nahshon, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman in a statement said "In response to the request by the president of Togo and following consultations between him and the prime minister, it was made a decision to put off the Israel-Africa Summit to a future, agreed-upon date".

Gnassingbe "praised and thanked the prime minister for his determination to strengthen relations", between the two countries, according to the Foreign Ministry, which is headed by Netanyahu.

The president has been in power since 2005, when he took over from his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled Togo for almost 40 years.

Nevertheless, Israel tried to put a positive spin on developments despite them being a significant setback to Netanyahu's spin and public position that Israel's current foreign relations were now substantially less negatively impacted by the Israel- Palestine conflict than in the past.

A South African diplomat said his country had called on other countries to boycott Israel and refuse to normalize relations with it. Offering African states development aid, economic cooperation, and anti-terrorism know-how, Netanyahu aims to use support from the continent to break the traditional anti-Israel majority in worldwide organizations such as the UN.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe during a joint statement in Jerusalem August 10, 2016.

Israel now has diplomatic ties with 40 of the 48 sub-Saharan states. "Various pressures have been placed on the Togolese president to cancel the conference".

"The summit's cancellation is a victory to the accumulated African efforts against all the injustice, racism and fascism represented by the Zionist state", Al-Risheq said on his Twitter account.

In June, King Mohammed VI opted not to participate in a meeting between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that was attended by Netanyahu, even though Rabat seeks to become a member of the organization.

News of the summit's temporary cancellation come as Netanyahu is en route to make the first-ever visit by a sitting Israeli prime minister to Latin America.

African nations have 15 diplomatic missions in Israel.

In its statement to the press, the Foreign Ministry said that the event had been "postponed" but it did not provide an alternative date.

"Israel will continue its growing efforts in Africa as it has done in recent years", the statement said.

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