An Israeli delegation has arrived in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to discuss the normalization of ties between the two countries, two Sudanese government sources said on Thursday, according to Reuters.
The trip was part of an exchange of visits between Sudan and Israel and involved discussion on reaching and signing a normalization deal.
A peace treaty will be signed after a civilian government is installed in Khartoum, says the Israeli foreign minister
Sudan and Israel have agreed to press ahead with a stalled peace treaty during the first official visit by an Israeli foreign minister to Khartoum on Thursday.
Sudan agreed to take steps to normalize ties with Israel in a 2020 deal brokered by former US President Donald Trump’s administration, alongside normalisation agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
“It has been agreed to move forward towards the normalization of relations between the two countries,” the Sudanese foreign ministry said in a statement.
In January 2021, Sudan formally agreed to establish ties with Israel in a quid pro quo for the United States, removing it from its list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, but efforts to normalise ties had stalled.
Sudan has been plagued by political chaos since a military coup in October 2021 derailed the country’s democratic transition following the removal of longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir.
If an agreement is reached, Sudan would become the fourth country – along with the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain – to normalise ties with Israel as part of the US-backed Abraham Accords.
In 2020 the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco all normalised relations with Israel as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, which was vehemently criticised by the Palestinians.
Sudan’s military has been seen as more supportive of normalisation with Israel than civilian political leaders.
Sudan’s economy is hovering on the verge of collapse and the country is riddled with instability and rivalry between armed militias. However, it sits on a strategic location below Egypt and along the Red Sea, where Israel has been militarily active.
Normalizing ties with Khartoum also carries symbolic weight for Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to expand the Abraham Accords.
Arab leaders gathered in Khartoum after their defeat in the 1976 war to announce a resolution that became known as the “three nos”: no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel.
“We are building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘three nos’ will become the ‘three yesses’: yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples,” Mr. Cohen said.
Sudan’s military, which has been in charge of the country since a 2021 coup but says it intends to hand over power to a civilian government, is seen as having led the move towards establishing relations with Israel.
Civilian groups have been more reluctant, and have previously said any deal must be ratified by a transitional parliament that is yet to be formed.