“I welcome the decision of the president of Cape Verde. This is the result of intensive diplomatic activity between Israel and Africa,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
Located off the western coast of Africa, Cape Verde was originally uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered and colonized its islands in the 15th century. Today the country—home to around 525,000 people, mainly of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry—is one of the most successful and stable countries in Africa.
According to Netanyahu, Cape Verde’s decision comes following a meeting with Fonseca on the sidelines of the Economic Community of West African States conference in Liberia in June.
While Cape Verde has generally voted against Israel in the past, it has abstained or been absent from some major anti-Israel votes, including the 2009 U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (also known as the Goldstone Report) and the 2011 UNESCO vote to accept the Palestinians as a member state.