Algeria pushes African Union members to revoke Israel's observer status
Lamamra travelled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to participate in the 40th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union. The meeting took place on 2 and 3 February, with a host of foreign ministers from AU member states in attendance.
The Algerian foreign minister held a series of meetings to drum up support for the annulment of Israel's AU observer status, reported The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
A vote on Israel's observer status will be a major topic of discussion for the African Union summit, which begins in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday, the news outlet said.
Nigeria, South Africa and the Southern African regional bloc are all in support of revoking Israel's membership, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Aside from Algeria, six other Arab member states - Egypt, Comoros, Tunisia, Djibouti, Mauritania and Libya - have signed a petition to have Israel's membership annulled, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said Lamamra's position was “highly appreciated by Palestinian nation” and a “reflection of Algeria’s nobility.”
Union Commissioner Moussa Faki Mahamat granted Israel observer status in July last year.
The move drew criticism from Algeria, South Africa and other member states, who said that they had not been properly consulted on the move.
Israel previously held the status in the predecessor Organisation of African Unity until 2002, when the organisation was disbanded and replaced by the AU.