New details emerge on Netanyahu summit with Sudan ruler

Key man in arranging meeting was actually private Israeli lawyer sent by Netanyahu advisors to Khartoum month-and-a-half ago.

Mordechai Sones,

Netanyahu in Entebbe
Netanyahu in Entebbe
Flash 90

Channel 13 News' Barak Ravid published new details on the breakthrough that led to a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Sudan's interim ruler that happened last week. A key man in arranging the meeting was actually a private Israeli lawyer sent by Netanyahu advisors to Khartoum a month-and-a-half ago.

Israeli sources involved in contacts with Sudan say that in early December, Nick Kaufman met with Assistant National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat's assistant - a shadow figure known as "Maoz" - and who is responsible for Netanyahu's relations with Arab states. Kaufman presented an unconventional idea to Maoz.

Kaufman, an Israeli-British citizen, specializes in defense at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In this way, he also made extensive connections in Sudan - even with the former regime of dictator Omar Al-Bashir wanted in The Hague - as well as with the current regime that announced tonight that he would extradite Al-Bashir to The Hague.

Uganda
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Kaufman, who advises the current Sudanese government on the case against al-Bashir, told Netanyahu's advisor for contacts with Arab states Maoz of a meeting he had scheduled with temporary ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan - and offered to send him a message from Israel.

The Prime Minister's Office adopted the initiative and gave Kaufman a letter from Netanyahu to Burhan with a proposal to meet and discuss promoting normalization between Israel and Sudan. In early January, Kaufman secretly arrived in Khartoum. He met with President Burhan, forwarded the letter from Netanyahu, and immediately received a reply letter expressing his readiness to meet.

This is where a second key woman - Najwa Gadhaldam - advisor to Ugandan President Kavari Museveni - and Kaufman's colleague for a few years - came into the picture because of his activities at The Hague Tribunal. Gadhaldam - who is close to the Sudanese government - offered to mediate and hold the meeting between Netanyahu and Burhan in Uganda.

Kaufman returned to Israel with the letter from Burhan and handed it to Netanyahu's advisers. He also connected them with Ugandan President's advisor Gadhaldam so that she would continue to mediate. From there, the baton moved to National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat, assistant Maoz, and Mossad head Yossi Cohen who worked closely with Gadahldam to put together the summit.

Netanyahu joins African leaders at Uganda summit
Kobi Gideon/GPO



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