Before Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen returned from a historic diplomatic visit to Sudan this week, members of the U.S. secretary of state’s delegation to Israel revealed that Sudan was close to finalizing a normalization agreement with Israel via the Abraham Accords.
Cohen, who traveled to Sudan in 2021 to help the country enter into the Abraham Accords with Israel at that time, was responsible for overseeing the final draft of the Khartoum-Jerusalem peace agreement this week.
Between the two trips, normalization talks between the two nations stalled when the Sudanese military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, overthrew the Sudanese government in October 2021, and assumed presidency of Sudan’s Transitional Council.
Cohen’s Thursday visit to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, led the foreign minister into direct talks with al-Burhan. The bilateral peace agreement will become official in a signing ceremony planned to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government.
Saudi newspaper Al-Hadath reported that the Israeli delegation included senior political, military and security personnel, and that the date for signing a peace agreement was “very close.” The Ofek Sudan newspaper reported a “significant step” would be taken “towards the normalization of relations with Israel.”
Al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daklo, also visited the Republic of Chad this week, at the same time that Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno traveled to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad Director David Barnea.
Israel and Chad announced the establishment of diplomatic relations, including the opening of the official Chadian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Hamas, the Islamist terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, reacted negatively to Itno’s visit.
“We, in the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas], express our deep regret and condemnation of the opening by the Republic of Chad of an embassy in the occupied Zionist entity,” the group stated.
“We reaffirm our position rejecting all forms of normalization with the occupation, and we call on Chad to review its decision that is contrary to the position of the Chadian people in support of Palestine and the justice of its national cause, in order to safeguard the interests of the peoples of the region and to prevent the prolongation of the occupation and encourage it to commit further violations and massacres against the Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian holy sites.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.