By Zein Khalil
JERUSALEM (AA) – Israel said Saturday an Israeli delegation led by Deputy Director for Africa at the Foreign Ministry, Sharon Barley, was expelled from the African Union conference hall in Addis Ababa.
"Israel takes the incident in which the Deputy Director for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Barley, was removed from the African Union Hall despite her status as an accredited observer with access badges very seriously,” Foreign Minister spokesperson Lior Hair said in a statement cited by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
"It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran,” Hair said.
“We call on African countries to stand against these actions that harm the organization of the African Union itself and the entire continent,” the spokesperson added.
There was no comment from Algeria and South Africa on the Israeli accusation.
Israel was granted observer status in the African Union in July 2021, in a move that drew fire from a number of African countries, including Algeria and South Africa.
According to The Jerusalem Post newspaper, Israel holds formal relations with 46 African nations, all members of the African Union.