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Sudanese source denies normalisation talks with Israel

October 15, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Protest against normalisation deal with Israel in Khartoum, Sudan on 25 September 2020 [Abbas M. Idris/Anadolu Agency]

A source with the Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan denied reports that the council discussed normalisation with Israel earlier this week nor will it discuss it during a meeting Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.

The source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, said normalisation with Israel was “not on the meeting agenda” and the meeting Thursday “has nothing to do with Israel, from near or far.”

Israeli news channel i24, citing unnamed sources, reported that the Council met Wednesday and after arduous discussions decided to normalise relations with Israel.

READ: Sudan PM accuses US of undermining democratic transition

Sudanese and Arab media said the US gave Sudan a 24-hour ultimatum to respond to an offer made to Khartoum to normalise with Tel Aviv in exchange for removing Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan was placed on the list in 1993 on accusations it supports terror groups.

In 1997, Washington imposed economic sanctions on Sudan and tightened them a year later after attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din said Oct. 9 that Sudan’s “relationship with Israel is subject to discussion, but should not be mixed with the removal of Sudan’s name from the American terrorism list.”

The head of the Sovereign Council, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, held talks Sept. 23 on a host of issues, including the Arab-Israeli peace, with a US delegation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Israeli and American media reports said at the time Khartoum requested from the US that it remove it from its terror list and wanted a billion-dollar package in assistance in exchange for normalisation with Tel Aviv.

READ: Protest leader says normalising ties with Israel will not pay off Sudan’s debts 

Sudanese political forces announced categorical rejection of normalisation amid talks of a possible Sudanese dead after the UAE and Bahrain signed US-sponsored normalisation agreements with Israel in Washington in last month.

The two Gulf states ignored widespread Arab popular rejection in what was seen as a “betrayal” of the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian Authority insists that any deal with Israel should be based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative on the principle of “land for peace” and not “peace for peace” as Israel claims.