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Sudanese civilian govt says not aware of Israeli visit


November 23, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Israeli Army Radio reported that Tel Aviv sent its first delegation to Sudan on Monday, but the government spokesman in Khartoum said that the cabinet was not aware of the visit.

The visit comes after an agreement brokered by Trump administration to normalize relations between the two countries announced on October 23.

Last week, the Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said that a small delegation will visit Sudan to discuss security matters. It will be followed by a larger delegation to discuss economic cooperation, he further added.

In spite of the media reports about the arrival of the Israeli delegation in Khartoum, the Sudanese government spokesman, Faisal Mohamed Salih, told the Sudan Tribune on Monday that the cabinet had no knowledge of this visit.

"No one coordinated with us regarding this visit, and we do not know the composition of the delegation, nor the party that invited and received it," he further stressed

Two separate sources told the Sudan Tribune that the delegation had arrived in coordination with the military component in the Sovereign Council which the Israeli and U.S. officials believe is more favourable to the rapprochement.

Sudan followed the example of the UAE and Bahrain and agreed to establish official relations with Israel last October, becoming the third Arab country to normalize with Israel under Trump pressure.

Trump administration made the establishment of relations with Israel a last-minute condition before to remove Sudan from the terror list.

Commenting on the visit, a senior Sudanese official told the Sudan Tribune that Sudan foreign policy is determined and conducted by the government, according to the transitional constitution.

"So, there is a problem of competence here," he added referring to the visit.

The Sudanese military used to speak about national security issues to explain their visits and external relations. Al-Burhan was recently in Addis Ababa for talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister before the latter launch his military operation against the recalcitrant Tigray region government.

In Khartoum, Hikayat newspaper on its edition of Tuesday reported that a Sudanese delegation will travel to Israel on Tuesday to continue discussions between the two countries.

The military component says they are interested in the Israeli military technology within their efforts to modernize the Sudanese army.

Reporting from Jerusalem, Reuters said the delegation discussed "potential economic and humanitarian cooperation".

"The talks focussed on how Israel might shore up Sudan’s agriculture, food security, water supplies and health care, the source, who declined to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters".


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