September 12, 2017
By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban with AP
Togolese president, Faure Gnassingbe, has requested the cancellation of an Israeli-Africa summit scheduled for next month in the West African country, the Associated Press reports.
The country has recently been hit by anti-government protests demanding the resignation of the president and an immediate end to the Gnassingbe ruling dynasty which goes back to five decades ago.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Faure after consultations with Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed on the cancellation adding that continued talks would “guarantee the full success of the summit.”
No reason was given for the decision even though it is widely believed to be linked to the protests which has forced the government to introduce constitutional reforms. The opposition have dismissed the move and called for more protests.
There was no mention of a rescheduled date but the summit whenever it takes place is meant to pool together political, business and security experts from Israel and around the continent. The Israeli PM has over the last two years been on a diplomatic charm offensive to woo African countries.
Faure Gnassingbe is the current Chairman of the regional political bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Incidentally, he was elected to take over from Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a summit earlier this year. Netanyahu was a special guest at the June summit.