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Sudan fires official for claims peace talks with Israel imminent

August 19, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Sudanese protesters shout slogans during a rally to denounce Israel’s treatment of Palestinians on 11 August 2014 in Khartoum, Sudan [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry denied its country’s support for establishing peace with Israel before firing a government spokesperson who said this was in the pipeline, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Haider Badawi Sadiq, a spokesperson for the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, reportedly told Sky News Arabia yesterday that “Khartoum is looking forward to a peace agreement with Israel based on Khartoum’s interests without sacrificing the values.”

He added that “there is no reason for the continuation of hostility between Sudan and Israel. We do not deny the existence of contacts between the two countries.”

He further praised the United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalise relations with Israel as “a brave and bold step” which “maps the right path for the rest of the Arab countries.”

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on Twitter: “Israel, Sudan and the region will all benefit from a peace deal and will be able to build a better future together for all nations of the region.”

However, the Sudanese Foreign Minister-designate, Omar Kamaruddin Ismail, sent out a subsequent message that it was “astonished” by Sadiq’s statements, which he had not been authorised to make, and that the ministry had not discussed relations with Israel.

“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 Sadiq was not assigned to make any statements in this regard,” the statement added.

Earlier this year, an Israeli plane flew through Sudanese airspace for the first time following a meeting between Netanyahu and Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling body the Sovereign Council, took place in Uganda.

READ: UAE says Israel agreement removes time-bomb of annexation

Sudan has historically been among the fiercest opponents of Israel.

 On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Netanyahu repeated on Monday that annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.