Report: Sudan in Talks With U.S., UAE to Normalize Ties With Israel

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. (AP Photo, File)

U.S., Emirati and Sudanese officials are to hold a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday on a possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel, Walla news reported on Sunday, citing unnamed Sudanese officials.

In addition to economic aid, the Sudanese government wants the Trump administration to remove Sudan from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list. This issue is indirectly connected to the normalization deal with Israel.

Since the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan last February in Uganda, both countries continued quiet talks on the possibility of normalization.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew from Tel Aviv to Sudan on board the first direct flight between the two countries, fueling speculation of a possible normalization. Pompeo supports delisting Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and has set the end of October as a deadline for this move, according to U.S. officials.

Pompeo’s trip to Sudan came on the heels of a historic normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which Bahrain subsequently joined. The signing of both deals was held last week at the White House.

However, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok then told Pompeo that his government had no mandate to normalize ties with Israel. In recent days, according to the Walla report, Hamdok was convinced that normalization with Israel will serve Sudan’s interests and gave Burhan a green light to move forward if Sudan’s requests for economic aid are met.