Video: Israeli diplomat expelled from African Union summit

2023-02-19 22:25:47

A senior Israeli diplomat was removed from the African Union's annual summit on Saturday in Ethiopia, as a dispute over Israel's accreditation to the bloc escalated.

A video circulating on social media shows guards escorting the Israeli foreign ministry's deputy director general for Africa, Sharon Bar-li, out of the AU assembly taking place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said Sunday Israel's observer status at the bloc has been suspended and the regime was not invited to the union's recent summit from which its delegation was kicked out.

Faki had granted the Israeli regime the status in 2021, sparking an outcry across the pan-African bloc and vehement protests from key members, Algeria and South Africa.

As a result, last year's AU summit suspended a debate on whether to withdraw the accreditation of Israel, and established a committee of heads of state to address the issue.

The Israeli regime has shown a fiery reaction to the Saturday incident that has gone viral across the social media showing security guards approaching the Israeli delegates and escorting them out after several minutes of argument.

The regime accused what it called a "small number of extremist states like Algeria and South Africa" of being behind the move.

South Africa, however, has roundly rejected the claim, saying the regime's application for observer status at the AU has not been decided upon by the bloc.

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