Sudan discusses Arab-Israeli peace with US officials

Palestine flag AP Photo
Palestinians have reacted angrily to the 'normalisation' deals between Arab states and Israel this month [File: Bernat Armangue/AP]

Sudan and the United States have discussed how Khartoum could advance Arab-Israeli peace, authorities said on Wednesday.

Meeting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a Sudanese delegation and American officials held talks on how peace could stabilise the region and secure a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, the ruling sovereign council said.

A Sudanese team led by General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, head of the council, flew to the UAE on Sunday to hold talks with US officials on several issues, including the removal of Sudan from a US list of “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Sudanese officials held “serious and frank talks” on the future of Arab-Israeli peace, which would lead to “stability in the region and preserve the right of the Palestinian people to establish their state according to the vision of a two-state solution”, a council statement said after the return of the delegation.

The two sides also discussed “the role that Sudan is expected to play in achieving this peace”, it said, without giving any details.

The UAE, a leading regional partner of the US, and Bahrain normalised ties with Israel this month in deals brokered by Washington, the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to break a long-standing taboo.

In August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the issue of Sudan establishing ties with Israel during a visit. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told him at the time he had no mandate to do so.

The council, made up of the military and civilians, has been in charge of Sudan since the toppling of President Omar al-Bashir last year.

Ties with Israel are a sensitive issue in Sudan, which was among the hardline Arab foes of Israel under al-Bashir.

In February, al-Burhan met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda, a meeting condemned by Sudanese protesters. He afterwards cast doubt on any rapid normalisation of relations, though Israeli aircraft soon began overflying Sudan.

The talks also tackled lifting Sudan from the US terrorism list, which hinders its ability to access foreign loans to tackle an economic crisis, the council said, without giving details.

Source: Reuters