Sunset view of Khartoum, Sudan
Sunset view of Khartoum, SudaniStock

The Biden administration has asked the Israeli government to use its close relations with the head of Sudan’s military, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to urge the military to restore the civilian government following last week’s coup, Barak Ravid of Axios reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the situation in Sudan in a call with Defense Minister Benny Gantz last week.

According to Israeli and US officials, Blinken asked that Israel encourage the Sudanese military to end the coup.

Gantz doesn't hold the Sudan file, but the Biden administration's message was also passed to officials in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry, according to Ravid.

US envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday that Burhan and his supporters in the military “hijacked and betrayed” the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.

Feltman called on Burhan to release Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok from house arrest and restore the civilian government.

“The world is watching. The military can’t choose its civilian partners in the transitional government. They need to work together," Feltman said.

The Biden administration made it clear to the Israelis that the normalization process with Sudan will not be able to continue amid the current instability in the country, a senior US official told Ravid.

Feltman is expected to visit Israel for talks on Sudan on Sunday and Monday. He will also travel to Sudan again in the coming days.

Israel has been maintaining a low profile when it comes to the coup in Sudan and has so far not published an official response to what is happening in the country, with which it signed a normalization agreement about a year ago.

Earlier this week it was cleared for publication that an Israeli delegation visited Sudan in recent days to get an impression of the internal situation in the country following the coup.

A day after the coup, the United States announced that it is pausing assistance from the $700 million Sudan aid package following the coup attempt in the country.

"Those funds were intended to support the country's democratic transition as we evaluate the next steps for Sudan programming," said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price at the time.

Asked about the possible impact of the Sudan coup on the Abraham Accords, Price replied, "The normalization effort between Israel and Sudan is something that will have to be evaluated as we and as Israel watch very closely what happens in the coming hours and coming days. I wouldn’t want to weigh into that just yet."