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Comoros: is normalization with Israel possible?

The Israeli press claims that the Comoros could forge diplomatic ties with the Hebrew state. A decision that would weaken President Azali Assoumani at the national level.

“The Comoros do not have the power of Morocco to play the 'ni-ni' policy. So I decided to follow Saudi Arabia, a partner country for more than forty years, while Qatar has only been present since 2008 ”. In 2019, in the midst of the Gulf crisis, Azali Assoumani, President of the Comoros and candidate for his own succession, said he supported Saudi Arabia, which was doing it well, launching in turn projects on the archipelago.

Two years later, would the Head of State of the Comoros be making another choice, more astonishing this one: that of Israel?

The Hebrew state and the archipelago are currently in talks, according to the The Jerusalem Post. The Israeli press wonders: The Comoros is a predominantly Muslim country, which is only a tenth the size and population of Israel. The Union of the Comoros is a member of the Arab League, but it is above all one of the seven countries to have informed the African Union (AU), last August, of an objection to the decision of the body of 'grant the Jewish state observer status within the organization.

Suffice to say that the discussions between the two parties, if they exist, mainly relate to a step back of the Comoros within the anti-Israel coalition in the AU, led by Algeria in particular. Above all, the Hebrew state would see a normalization of relations between the two countries, which would be a strong message sent to the Arab world. A high-ranking diplomatic source said on Monday that Moroni could, following the talks, establish relations with Tel Aviv.

With the maneuver, the United States. Washington had already been very active when signing the Abraham Accords and had convinced the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and even Morocco to take an important step towards Israel. The Hebrew state did not pray and would have taken over.

Washington and the United Arab Emirates in action

But once again, the information comes from Israel and looks like a bottle thrown into the sea… Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Esawi Frej said on Monday that Qatar, Tunisia, Oman and Malaysia could also join the Agreements. of Abraham. An astonishing list, which one can hardly imagine signing the famous agreements.

In September 2020, there had already been talk of a restoration of Israel-Comoros relations, but Saïd Cheïk Saïd Hassane, director general in charge of the Arab world at the Comorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied “baseless” rumors.

If he signed the Abrahamic Accord, Azali Assoumani would first have to convince his number 1 partner: Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, which continues to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has refused to follow the Emirates and normalize its relations with Israel. But the UAE is also influential in the Comoros: it provides Azali with important material for the internal security of the archipelago.

Still, a normalization with Israel would not happen at all in its own country: the Comorian population would not appreciate it. But above all, in his political camp, Azali would find few allies favorable to his decision. Worse, the religious, very influential in the political sphere and within the ruling party, are totally opposed to possible diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. In September 2020, while the normalization of relations between Israel and the Comoros was being discussed, the Union mufti denounced the rumor.

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