Sacked Sudanese spokesman has 'no regret' over Israel remarks, says Sudan-Israel normalisation still underway

Sacked Sudanese spokesman has 'no regret' over Israel remarks, says Sudan-Israel normalisation still underway
2 min read
21 August, 2020
Haidar Badawi Sadig says he was tired of hearing confirmation about talks between Sudan and Israel from outside sources.
Haidar Badawi Sadig was sacked by Sudan's foreign ministry on Wednesday [Getty]

A recently-sacked spokesman for Sudan's Foreign Ministry has said he does not regret his decision to confirm normalisation talks between Khartoum and Tel Aviv, depite that leading to his dismissal.

“I don’t regret it at all,” Haidar Badawi Sadig told Israel’s Kan state broadcaster.

He added that he was tired of secret talks between Sudan and Israel being confirmed by outside sources. Sadig told Kan he decided to break his silence on the matter when asked by local media about Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen’s claim that the two states would formalise ties by the end of the year.

“We need to act in order to create public discourse regarding this issue, so that [the talks] take place publicly,” Sadig said.

The former spokesman insisted that normalisation between the two states is ongoing, saying that Khartoum recently assisted in bringing a group of Ethiopian Falash Mura Jews to Israel.

The former spokesman was sacked after telling reporters on Tuesday that Khartoum was in talks with Israel and keen to move forward with a normalisation deal of its own.

The Sudanese foreign ministry later refuted the comments, saying it had learned of Sadig's statements with "astonishment".

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan confirms that the issue of relations with Israel was not discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in any way, and Ambassador Haydar Badawi (Sadig) was not assigned to make any statements in this regard," the ministry said in a statement.

The spokesman later told a televised press conference that his statements were a representation of his "personal opinion as a free Sudanese citizen".

However, his comments came just months after the leader of Sudan's transitional sovereign council met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda.

The Israeli premier's office described the February meeting with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan as a first step towards "normalising ties" at the time.

The sovereign council leader, however, said the meeting came out of a personal initiative to "protect the national security of Sudan". 

Amid fierce public anger, a government spokesperson said Burhan had given no promises of "normalising or having diplomatic relations" with Israel.

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