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Israel, Sudan to Finalize Diplomatic Deal in Spring

Israel, Sudan to Finalize Diplomatic Deal in Spring

Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 09:45
Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen (L) elbow-bumping Sudanese Defense Minister Yassin Ibrahim in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on January 25, 2021. (Arye Shalicar/Israel Intelligence Ministry/AFP)

Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said that Sudan's Head of State General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Defense Minister Yassin Ibrahim expressed their wish to reinforce normalization ties with Israel even after the change of the US administration.

He said that the exchange of embassies will probably take place after the signing of the normalization deal in the spring.

Israel and Sudan will finalize a diplomatic deal to normalize relations at a signing ceremony in Washington, Cohen said.

He revealed that Khartoum took the initiative, while usually it's Israel that exerts pressure to enhance ties with Arab counterparts. Cohen described these moments as “historical.”

He said he was delighted to be the first Israeli minister to make a peace visit to Sudan.

According to his statements, Sudan is not a regular country but the third biggest country in Africa and is an Arab country with deep roots.

Cohen said he brought his hosts oil and fruit from the Israeli farms and as a parting gift received an M16 rifle.

Furthermore, Cohen and Burhan agreed on a detailed plan to return the Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel (a total of 6,500). First, a Sudanese law will be passed to abolish the sanctions against Israel. Second, there will be economic, agricultural, industrial, and commercial projects for Israel in Sudan.

These asylum seekers will be hired in these projects, given that Israel has commenced training and qualifying them to join the labor market.

They also agreed on preeminent intelligence and security cooperation to curb the terrorist organizations and activities -- the parties signed the first memorandum of understanding on security.

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