Minister Cohen meets Sudanese President
Minister Cohen meets Sudanese PresidentSudanese government

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen today (Thursday) made a historic diplomatic visit to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, with the aim of signing a peace agreement with Sudan later this year. During the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalized the text of the agreement. The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country.

Sudan will be the fourth country to sign a peace agreement with Israel after the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. Sudan, strategically located on the shores of the Red Sea, is the third largest country in Africa (with an area of 1.8 million square kilometers) with a population of about 47 million inhabitants. Sudan previously fought alongside Arab countries in the War of Independence and the Six Day War, assisted in the transfer of weapons to Hamas, and hosted the Arab League’s 1968 Khartoum Conference that resulted in the Khartoum Resolution–the historic ‘Three Nos’ pledged by the Arab countries: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. The establishment of relations with Sudan puts an end to 75 years of hostility.

During the visit, Minister Cohen met with the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fatah Al Burhan and with senior officials, and discussed with them the steps towards the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and Sudan in the near future.

In accordance with the plan, the signing ceremony of the peace agreement will take place in a few months’ time in Washington, after the establishment of a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country. FM Cohen visited Sudan at the head of a senior MFA delegation that included MFA Director-General Ronen Levi, MFA Deputy Director General, Head of Africa Division, Sharon Bar-Li, Head of MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Einat Shlain, and MFA Legal Advisor Dr. Tal Becker.

In the discussions between the delegations, the Foreign Minister brought up Israel's desire to assist in Sudan's development efforts for the benefit of the Sudanese people in a variety of civil fields including food security, water resources management, agriculture and more.

Cohen presented to his hosts an MFA aid program for Sudan, which will focus on projects and capacity building in the fields of humanitarian aid, water purification and public medicine.

Foreign Minister Cohen said: "Today's visit to Sudan lays the foundations for a historic peace agreement with a strategic Arab and Muslim country. The peace agreement between Israel and Sudan will promote regional stability and contribute to the national security of the State of Israel."

“The signing of the peace agreement will serve as an opportunity for the establishment of relations with other countries in Africa as well as the strengthening of existing ties with African countries. The relationship of African countries with Israel is a common interest both for us and for the countries of the continent. Israel has been a significant partner for many years in the development processes in these countries and in dealing with the consequences of climate change and the economic challenges in Africa.

“Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, is remembered in Israel as the city where the Arab countries decided on the historic ‘Three Nos’: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no recognition of Israel. “We are building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three Nos’ will become the ‘Three Yesses’: yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples,” Cohen said.