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U.S. welcomes al-Burhan-Netanyahu meeting


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AFP file photo)
February 3, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo welcomed the meeting between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the head of the Sovereign Council in Sudan and Benjamin Netanyahu Israel’s Prime Minister.

Al-Burhan held an unannounced meeting with Netanyahu in Uganda on Monday 3 February where the two leaders agreed to normalize relations between the two countries, after years of reports about the possible rapprochement between Khartoum and Tel Aviv.

The State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus issued a statement following the meeting confirming that Pompeo had a phone call with al-Burhan on Sunday.

She also said that the American official invited al-Burhan to Washington later in the year without more details.

"Secretary Pompeo thanked General al-Burhan for his leadership in normalizing ties with Israel as a result of General al-Burhan’s recent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda at the invitation of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni," added the statement.

Ortagus gave the impression that Pompeo was aware of the planned meeting between al-Burhan and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu spokesman Ofir Gendelman confirmed that the Israeli prime minister spoke with Pompeo about his meeting with al-Burhan.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Sudan is headed in a new positive direction and he expressed his views to the Secretary of State of the United States of America," said Gendelman in a tweet after the meeting.

The Ugandan government did not issue a statement about the meeting. Also, no pictures were released about it.

However, a Sudanese military official told the Associated Press that the meeting was coordinated by the United Arab Emirates to help Sudan in its efforts for its removal from the terror list, considering the close relations between Tel Aviv and Washington.

Palestinian OLP condemns

There is no official Arab reaction to the meeting between al-Burhan and Netanyahu. However, the Palestinian ruling organisation in Ramallah quickly condemned the meeting.

"This meeting is a stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a blatant departure from the Arab peace initiative," said Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (OLP) in a statement by the official news agency WAFA.

Erekat further underscored that it comes at a time when the U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are trying to liquidate the Palestinian cause, he said referring to the new American initiative for peace in the region.


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