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Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 06-04-2019

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

 Former SA Ambassador to Israel Sisa NgombaneFormer SA Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane

International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has announced South Africa's ambassador to Israel will not be replaced.

Ambassador Sisa Ngombane was recalled from Tel Aviv in May 2018, following the killings of a number of protesting Palestinians by the Israeli army in Gaza.

The South African government took the decision to downgrade its Israeli embassy to a liaison office following a resolution taken by the African National Congress during its 2017 elective conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

During her address to the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) on Wednesday, Sisulu says the decision not to replace Ngombane formed part of the downgrade process.

"We are in the process of following the downgrade resolution of the ruling party, and stage one has been completed. Our Ambassador is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him."

Sisulu says the liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political, trade or development cooperation mandate and will only focus on consular and the facilitation of people-to-people relations.