Sudan: Meeting Netanyahu meant to remove us from US terror list

Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, argued that Sudan should work in its own interest, “regardless of the Palestinian issue.”

The head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, talks to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during the signing of a power sharing deal in Khartoum, Sudan, August 17, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/ MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH)
The head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, talks to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during the signing of a power sharing deal in Khartoum, Sudan, August 17, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/ MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH)
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, said on Wednesday that his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday was held with the intention of removing his country from the US list of terror-supporting nations, Maariv reported.
He said the meeting was discussed beforehand with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and argued that Sudan should work in its own interest, “regardless of the Palestinian issue.” He further said that if the new relationship with the Jewish state does “not bear fruit,” Sudan will be free to end it.
Israeli flights over Sudanese airspace will be granted soon, he suggested. When that happens, Israeli flights to South American and African destinations will be shorter.
It is unclear what the emergence of Israeli-Sudanese diplomatic relations means for Sudanese people who sought asylum in Israel during the past decade. While a few were granted refugee status, others were allowed to stay due to the lack of any official relationship between the two countries, which meant they were not eligible to be returned there.
In September, Sudan called on its Jewish community to return, saying it is a pluralistic country.
The Jewish community of Sudan was once led by Rabbi Shlomo Malka, who served as its spiritual leader from 1906 until his death in 1949.
He helped Jewish people forced to convert to Islam during the years that Sudan was controlled by Muhammad Ahmad, who defeated the British army during the Mahdist War of 1881-1899.
Influenced by the Jewish community of Egypt, which included Arabic-speaking Jews as well as those who spoke Greek or Italian – who sought economic opportunities in British-ruled Sudan during the years before the First World War – Sudan had for some years an active Jewish community.
After the death of Malka and the creation of the State of Israel, most Jews left the country.


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