Sudan Foreign Minister: No current diplomatic relationship with Israel

Establishing a relationship with Israel could potentially help Sudan with its request to be taken off of the US' list of 'State sponsors of terrorism' (SST)

By GIDEON KOUTS / MAARIV
October 2, 2019 10:02
1 minute read.
Sudan Foreign Minister: No current diplomatic relationship with Israel

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as he arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (photo credit: REUTERS)

"Not now." That was the answer given by Sudan's new Foreign Minister, Asma Mohammad Abdalla, when asked by Ma'ariv during a meeting on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Interim Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok in Paris if her country plans on establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

It was the first European visit from the head of the "government of experts" appointed after the Sudanese revolution to run the country until a democratic election, set to be held in 2022.

Diplomatic sources claim establishing a relationship with Israel could help Sudan with its request to be taken off of the US' list of 'State sponsors of terrorism' (SST) and end the subsequent sanctions in place since they were added to the list back in 1993.

Macron promised Sudan 60 million Euros in aid, contingent on them being removed from the US SST watchlist. Hamdok thanked Macron, who promised to speak with the US president on the matter. "The terror belongs to the former regime," said Hamdok, adding that "the Sudanese people are not terrorists." Hamdok said his contacts with the US government were "encouraging".

In the past few months, there have been leaks and rumors of a possible start of a diplomatic relationship between Israel and Sudan, but the leaks themselves are from the era of the previous regime, led by Omar al-Bashir, who admitted to being pressured to act on the subject.

Last February it was revealed that the Head of Mossad Yossi Cohen met with Sudanese official Salah Gosh during a security conference in Munich. The purpose of the meeting, according to Arabic media reports, was to gain Israel's help in deposing al-Bashir and naming the Sudanese Head of Services as his successor, though this has been denied by security agencies in Sudan, and Gosh was relieved of his duties after the revolution.

The connection between Israel and al-Bashir's regime is an obstacle in establishing formal and contemporary relations with the new regime, which is a result of a deal between the military and opposition parties.

Translated by Idan Zonshine


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