Israel FM Cohen visits Sudan as Khartoum and Tel Aviv step closer to ‘normalisation’

The head of the Sudan Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, meets Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Khartoum yesterday (Photo: Sovereignty Council media)


Sudan and Israel have taken a step closer to normalisation of bilateral relations, following a one-day visit to Khartoum by Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen yesterday, where he met with the chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council and junta leader Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) and the Sovereignty Council’s media liaison confirmed the meeting in El Burhan’s office that included the Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his accompanying delegation, In the presence of the Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali El Sadig.

The meeting touched on ways to establish fruitful relations with Israel and enhance prospects for joint cooperation between Khartoum and Tel Aviv in the fields of agriculture, energy, health, water, and education, especially in the security and military fields, the Sovereignty Council liaison says. The meeting also dealt with the role played by Sudan in addressing security issues in the region.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an Israeli official on Wednesday, who said that Sudan is likely to be the next Islamic country to join the Abraham Accords with Israel. According to the official, he referred to negotiations that took place between Israel and Sudan in recent days and weeks. The official added that the USA is mediating between the two sides and that an agreement now appears possible.

Following the meeting, El Burhan and Cohen said they will sign a peace agreement in Washington later in 2023.

In October 2020, Sudan announced its interest in joining the Abraham Accords, and three months later, it signed the declarative section of the agreement in the presence of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but unlike the United States the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Sudan it did not sign the corresponding document with Israel.

Following the military coup in Sudan in October 2021, Israeli officials made it clear that the chances of opening diplomatic relations between the two countries had diminished. However, due to the good relations between the political and military leadership of Israel and senior members of the military council in Sudan, there have been several reports since the coup about visits by Israeli delegations to Sudan – at the request of the United States – in an attempt to resolve the political crisis.

(Sources: RD / SUNA / HAARETZ)