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Netanyahu and Chad official discuss possible exchange of envoys - Israeli statement

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Chad's President Idriss Deby, during a meeting in N'Djamena, Chad January 20, 2019. Kobi Gideon/Government Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel and a Chadian envoy discussed a possible upgrading of relations on Tuesday that would include a mutual exchange of ambassadors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

Chadian President Idriss Deby visited Israel in 2018 to start a process of reviving ties that the African country severed in 1972. Israel has cast the process as part of an outreach to the Arab and Muslim world.

That process now includes the announcement last month of a normalisation deal with the United Arab Emirates.

In Tuesday’s talks, a Chadian delegation led by Abdelkarim Deby, the president’s son, and Netanyahu discussed “appointing ambassadors and opening diplomatic missions, including (by Chad) in Jerusalem,” a statement by the prime minister’s office said.

The delegation could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the Israeli statement, the delegation - which included Chad’s intelligence chief - also discussed bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism and other matters.

In a separate statement, Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said Netanyahu government’s would send a business delegation to develop possible mineral projects in Chad.

Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Timothy Heritage