Sat, 01 Apr 2023

Israel expects to fully normalise ties with Sudan later this year after Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen returned from a lightning diplomatic mission to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Cohen spoke to reporters on Thursday following a one-day trip to Khartoum that included high-level meetings with military leaders - including Sudan's ruling general, Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who led a coup that overturned the country's transitional government in 2021.

"The agreement is expected to be signed this year and it will be the fourth [such deal]," the Israeli Foreign Minister said, referring to the US-brokered normalisation accords with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in 2020.

The announcement could help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deflect attention from a recent spike in violence with Palestinians and widespread public anger over his plans to overhaul the country's judicial system - which critics say will badly damage Israel's democratic system of checks and balances.

For Sudan's ruling generals, a breakthrough with Israel could help convince foreign countries - including the United States and the UAE - to inject financial aid into the struggling economy.

Sudan remains mired in a political stalemate between a popular pro-democracy movement and the country's powerful armed forces.

Moving forward from 2020 'Abraham Accords'

Earlier on Thursday, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said it would move forward to normalise full diplomatic ties with Israel.

Sudan first signed a normalisation agreement with Israel in 2020 as part of the US-brokered "Abraham Accords" to establish full diplomatic ties.

However, the process stalled amid widespread popular opposition in Sudan.

US, allies 'welcome' Sudan initial pact to end post-coup crisis Sudan's military coup leader promises rapid return to civilian rule

The military coup in October 2021 then deposed Sudan's government, upending the country's fragile democratic transition.

Cohen said that he presented a draft peace treaty to the Sudanese "that is expected to be signed after the transfer of authority to the civilian government that will be formed as part of the transition underway in the country."

In its statement, the Sudanese ministry added that the talks aimed to strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including security and military.

The ministry also spoke of a need to achieve ″stability between Israel and the Palestinian people″ in light of a recent surge in violence.

Originally published on RFI

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