US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, yesterday arriving on a flight directly from Tel Aviv, Israel, in a historic move.
Pompeo said on Twitter that he was happy to be on board the first official direct flight from Israel to Sudan.
Happy to announce that we are on the FIRST official NONSTOP flight from Israel to Sudan! pic.twitter.com/eOXNsBAozC
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 25, 2020
The New York Times reported that the direct flight between the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Khartoum came after Pompeo's plane obtained special permission.
The paper's correspondent in Jerusalem, Isabel Kershner, described the permission as "another leap on the road to normalization with Israel".
OPINION: Sudan's foreign policy is in question following the revelation of secret talks with Israel
"Pompeo's hastily arranged Mideast tour, timed to coincide with the Republican Convention. In another hop toward normalization, his plane got permission to fly directly from Ben-Gurion Airport to Sudan. Next stop: Khartoum," she said.
Pompeo's hastily arranged Mideast tour, timed to coincide with the Republican Convention. In another hop toward normalization, his plane got permission to fly directly from Ben-Gurion Airport to Sudan. Next stop: Khartoum https://t.co/3jAyYQ2blD
— Isabel Kershner (@IKershner) August 25, 2020
Israel and Sudan do not have diplomatic relations, however, many have speculated that it will be the next country to normalise ties with the occupation state after the UAE announced that it had done so two weeks ago.
Pompeo is also expected to visit the UAE and Bahrain on his five-day tour.
Meanwhile, state-run news agency SUNA said that Pompeo will meet with the head of the Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
According to the news agency, the talks will focus on US support for the democratic transition in Sudan, Israel-Sudan relations, and lifting Sudan's name off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Pompeo's visit is the first by a US secretary of state to Sudan since 2004.
READ: Israel Mossad chief meets top Sudan official in UAE