Israel and Sudan have agreed to move towards formalising diplomatic ties for the first time, Israeli officials said on Monday, after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudan’s leader Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al Burhan met in Uganda this week.
Lt. Gen. Burhan is Sudan’s de facto leader and heads its military-civilian transitional council established following autocrat Omar al-Bashir’s ousting in a popular uprising that ended his 30-year rule in April last year.
The meeting was facilitated by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who Netanyahu also met. Discussions centred on possible direct flights between Israel and Uganda as well as the possibility of opening of an embassy in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu highlighted the conversation he had with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sudan’s behalf, saying “Sudan is headed in a new positive direction” while adding that al-Burhan was keen to modernise his country and end its isolation.
Later this week however, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok condemned the meeting, insisting that all decisions related to Sudan’s foreign affairs “should be made” exclusively by his Cabinet.
Sudan’s military said it backed the meeting, stating that the relations would help boost national security.