KHARTOUM – Sudan and the United States have discussed how Khartoum could advance Arab-Israeli peace, authorities said on Wednesday, adding the talks also covered the removal of the former hardline foe of Israel from a U.S. list of terrorism sponsors.
Meeting in the United Arab Emirates, a Sudanese delegation and U.S. officials held talks on how peace could stabilise the region and secure a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, the ruling sovereign council said.
The UAE, a leading regional partner of the United States, and Bahrain normalised ties with Israel this month in deals brokered by Washington, the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to break a longstanding taboo.
In August, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the issue of Sudan establishing ties with Israel during a visit. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told him at the time he had no mandate to do so.
A Sudanese team led by General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, head of the council, flew to the UAE on Sunday to hold talks with U.S. officials on several issues including the removal of Sudan from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Sudanese officials held “serious and frank talks” on the future of Arab-Israeli peace, which would lead to “stability in the region and preserve the right of the Palestinian people to establish their state according to the vision of a two-state solution”, a council statement said after the return of the delegation.
The two sides also discussed “the role that Sudan is expected to play in achieving this peace,” it said, without giving any details.
The council, made up of the military and civilians, has been in charge of Sudan since the toppling of autocrat Omar al-Bashir last year.
Ties with Israel are a sensitive issue in Sudan, which was among the hardline Arab foes of Israel under Bashir.
In February, Burhan met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda, a meeting condemned by Sudanese protesters. He afterwards cast doubt on any rapid normalisation of relations, though Israeli aircraft soon began overflying Sudan.
The talks also tackled lifting Sudan from the terrorism list, which hinders its ability to access foreign loans to tackle an economic crisis, the council said, without giving details.