Sudan-Israel ties? Not so fast

After Sudan’s Foreign Minister hints that ties with Israel could be considered, Khartoum says the comments were taken out of context.

Ben Ariel,

Sudanese flag
Sudanese flag
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Sudan’s Foreign Minister recently hinted that his country could consider normalizing ties with Israel, but the government was quick to stress on Wednesday that his comments were “taken out of contest”, reports the Sudan Tribune.

According to the report, in a lecture about Sudan foreign relations held last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour replied to a question about normalizing relations with Israel, saying Khartoum has no objection to study such calls if that can help to improve Sudan’s relations with the United States.

According to the Sudan Tribune, the comment raised strong reactions within the ruling party and Sudanese Islamists, leading the government to clarify that Khartoum supports the “Palestinian cause” and, as such, normalization of ties with Israel is out of the question.

"Statement of the foreign minister about normalization of relations with Israel during a lecture held last week, was taken out of context," the government said.

"The support of the Government and the people of Sudan to [the] Palestinian cause is well known. It did not change and will remain unchanged," it added.

Sudan has no diplomatic relations with Israel and, in fact, has accused it in the past of attacking targets in Sudan.

In October of 2012, Sudan claimed that Israeli airstrikes caused an explosion and fire at a military factory south of the capital, Khartoum, killing two people.

Sudan claimed that four aircraft hit the Yarmouk complex, setting off a huge blast that rocked the capital before dawn.

Israel refused all comment on Sudan's accusation about the factory blast, though a top Israeli defense official said Sudan "serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists."

In 2009, Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike on an arms convoy near the Red Sea in eastern Sudan.

In 2011, news outlets in Sudan claimed that Israeli fighter jets, helicopters and possibly a submarine were involved in multiple attacks on targets in the country.

Iranian warships regularly dock in Port Sudan, in what Khartoum describes as “routine” visits, but Sudan seems to be distancing itself from Iran, having recently become one of several countries to cut ties with the Islamic Republic following riots at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran over the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr Al-Nimr.




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