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Israeli officials 'in Khartoum' to cement normalisation deal

Israeli officials 'in Khartoum' to cement normalisation agreement with Sudan junta
2 min read
02 February, 2023
Sudan has been reluctant to sign the so-called Abraham Accords with Israel, but this is set to change in the coming days, according to officials.
Sudan has seen protests against normalisation of relations with Israel [Getty]

Sudan and Israel are working on fully implementing the so-called Abraham Accords after an initial move toward normalisation was made three years ago.

An Israeli delegation arrived in Khartoum on Thursday to cement the normalisation of ties, following an agreement in 2020 by Sudan to take steps toward this, Sudanese government sources told Reuters.

Unlike the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, Sudan never signed the Abraham Accords agreement establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel despite indications in 2020 that it would do so.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen's office said he would convene a news conference "upon his return from an historic state visit" on Thursday evening, which appears to indicate that the reports could be correct.

The meetings in Khartoum will focus on reaching and signing a normalisation deal, the sources told the news agency.

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Earlier on Thursday, Haaretz reported that Sudan and Israel had made progress on finalising the normalisation agreement.

Khartoum has signed the "declarative section" of the Abraham Accords document in the presence of US officials, but not the corresponding document agreeing to normalise ties with Israel.

A military coup against civilian Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok in 2021 left the normalisation agreement on the wayside while the army consolidated power and sought to hammer out an agreement with civilian elements to end the domestic political stalemate.

Despite this, the Sudanese and Israeli militaries have close ties, with Cohen visiting Sudan in 2021 as Israel's intelligence chief.

While the military is said to be most keen on building ties with Israel, civilian bodies are generally viewed as opposed to any normalisation with the country.

Sudan's ruling military general, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who led the 2021 coup, said in September he would be prepared to visit Israel.

Like in other Arab countries, most of Sudan's population remains strongly opposed to normalisation of ties with Israel.