An Israeli delegation made a rare visit to Sudan on Wednesday to discuss normalizing ties, Israeli public broadcaster Kan radio said, as a minister predicted a possible diplomatic breakthrough between the two countries.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Israel’s Channel 13 News that he believed Israel was “very close to normalizing ties with Sudan”.
Kan radio gave no further details about the discussions held in Khartoum. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment when asked about prospects for a breakthrough with Sudan, Reuters reported.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the US had begun the process of removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and was also working “diligently” to get Khartoum to recognize Israel.
Pompeo stopped short of saying Sudan’s removal would be linked to whether it would agree to normalize relations with Israel. Sudanese sources have not indicated so far that normalization talks were far advanced.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis said that Washington would announce another deal establishing ties between Israel and an Arab or Muslim country before the US election.
“I have a reasonable basis to believe that the announcement will come before Nov. 3 - that, if you’ll permit me, is what I understand from my sources,” Akunis told Israel’s Army Radio.