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Israel frustrated over cold relations with Sudan after 'normalisation'

KHARTOUM, SUDAN - JANUARY 17: Sudanese people rally against their country's recent signing of a deal on normalising relations with Israel, outside the cabinet offices in the capital Khartoum, Sudan on January 17, 2021. On January 6, Sudan became the third Arab country to sign the US-brokered "Abraham Accords" on normalising ties with Israel after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last year. ( Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency )
Sudanese people rally against their country's recent signing of a deal on normalising relations with Israel, outside the cabinet offices in the capital Khartoum, Sudan on January 17, 2021 [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli orientalist has said that there is a slowdown in relations between Tel Aviv and Khartoum, despite efforts by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to bring both sides closer.

Jacky Hugi made her comments in an analytical article for the Hebrew-language Maariv.

Based on information provided by high-ranking sources in the Israeli government, Hugi explained: "While talking about Arab-Israeli normalisation, we may refer to Sudan, after what we witnessed in late October when US President Donald Trump officially announced that Khartoum and Tel Aviv decided to establish official relations, and many Israeli delegations went there."

However, she added, not much has been done since. "Although Sudan recognises Israel on paper and expresses readiness for peace with it, nothing has happened on the ground yet."

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Quoting the same sources, the analyst for Middle East affairs at Israel Army Radio Galei Tzahal, pointed out that even though it has been more than six months since Sudan and Israel decided to normalise relations, no embassies or mutual agreements of any kind, nor any flights, have been established between the two states. "Their relations are still frozen. What has been accomplished so far is very limited.

This is, she suggested, because the Khartoum government is working as an interim administration, which is perhaps one of the main reasons for the delay. Some decisions require a referendum and discussions in the permanent parliament that will be elected next year."

Trump sought to persuade the Sudanese to accept relations with Israel as part of a comprehensive package, said Hugi, but there was not much enthusiasm for the idea from the start. "On the other hand, Trump did not win the election, thus the main player, the one who managed relations between Khartoum and Washington and forced Israel to wait is out of the game now. Therefore, Tel Aviv is not that motivated today to push relations forward, which the Sudanese have noticed."

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