Israel has taken a major step towards normalizing relations with Sudan after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with one of the East African country’s top military generals.
Netanyahu met with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda, on Monday evening.
Burhan currently serves as the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, a transitional ruling body made up of civilian and military figures.
New: State Dept confirms Sec Pompeo spoke w/Gen Burhan, who leads Sudan's Sovereign Council, and notes their shared "commitment" to "stronger, healthier" ties + praise for move to normalize ties w/Israel, after Burhan met Netanyahu in Uganda pic.twitter.com/nP9lWJ2SSw
— Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) February 3, 2020
Immediately after the meeting, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying:
“It has been agreed to start a cooperation that will lead to normalizing the ties between the countries.”
“Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Sudan is moving in a positive direction, and the prime minister has expressed his outlook to the American secretary of state”, Netanyahu’s government added.
Burhan, who is often held accountable for a massacre of peaceful Sudanese protesters in June 2019, took a trip to Uganda specifically to meet Netanyahu, who is there for a day-long diplomatic visit.
The meeting between the two leaders lasted for two hours.
Thread on the meeting between Netanyahu and Sudan Sovereign Council leader Burhan. Worrying that the civilian part of Sudan's transitional government didn't know about the meeting, and that it is Burhan, not the civilian PM Hamdok, who has been invited to the US later this year. https://t.co/TseDxgqrJx
— Mark Weston (@markweston19) February 4, 2020
According to an Israeli source, the burgeoning relations will most likely affect the route of flights from Israel and enable aircraft to fly over Sudan.
However, the Anadolu news agency reported on Monday that the Sudanese government was not informed of the meeting.
Sudan’s Communication Minister Faisal Saleh declared:
“The (Sudanese) government wasn’t notified or consulted in the cabinet about this meeting. We will wait for clarifications after Al-Burhan’s return.”
(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)