February 20, 2023

AU Summit Gives Israeli Diplomat the Boot

As the African Union (AU) wrapped up their two-day summit, headlines have been focused on Israeli diplomat, Sharon Bar-li, who was forcibly removed from the proceedings.

Representatives from 55 nations conferred at the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Saturday, 18 February and Sunday, 19 February, for their annual summit.

However, the proceedings began on a rocky note as a video posted to Twitter on Saturday shows Bar-li being removed from the opening ceremony, because “she was not the person accredited to represent Israel,” according to an unnamed AU representative.

Bar-li, who is the deputy director general for Africa at Israel’s foreign ministry, was reportedly not invited to the AU summit. The original, and untransferable, invitation was said to have been extended to Israel’s AU ambassador, Aleli Admasu.

According to reports, Israel’s observer status – which may have originally granted Bar-li the right to attend the summit – had been suspended, pending deliberation on current affairs.

Israel’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Lior Hayat, has blamed South Africa and Algeria – two key nations attending the bloc – saying that they were “driven by hatred.”

Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, has demanded that Israel substantiate the claim, which they have been unable to do so as of yet.

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