JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Wednesday that it and the Republic of Guinea have renewed diplomatic relations after 49 years, a diplomatic score for Israel as it looks to improve political and economic ties in the Muslim world.

A number of African countries have either never had diplomatic relations with Israel, or severed them in the past, often citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guinea cut off ties after the 1967 Middle East war.

The Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, in Paris to sign an official agreement, said he hoped other African countries would follow suit and open relations with Israel.

"The number of countries in Africa that still haven't done so is getting smaller and we hope that soon there will not be any," Gold said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; editing by John Stonestreet)