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Sudan Confirms but Downplays Israeli Visit

Sudan Confirms but Downplays Israeli Visit

Monday, 30 November, 2020 - 18:30
Sudan has confirmed that an Israeli delegation visited Khartoum. (AFP)

Sudan has confirmed that an Israeli delegation visited Khartoum, a week after the mission, a pan-Arab news channel reported.


The Sovereign Council, its highest ruling body, sought to play down the importance of the visit, saying it was not political.


"We did not announce it at the time because it was not a major visit or of a political nature," council spokesman Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman told the US-based pan-Arab channel Al-Hurra on Sunday.


He said the visit "was of a technical and military nature".


Sudan in October became the third Arab country in as many months to announce a normalization deal with Israel, after the UAE and Bahrain.


Suleiman said "discussions with the Israeli side are on hold as there were political and economic obligations that were not respected", without elaborating.


That may have been a reference to Sudan's removal from a US "state sponsors of terrorism" blacklist, which would need the backing of a vote in Congress.


Israel announced on November 23 that it had sent its first delegation to Sudan after the deal on normalization.


But the following day Khartoum denied knowledge of the visit.


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