Sudanese politician: Normalization with Israel is possible

Former Sudanese deputy prime minister says door to normalizing ties with Israel could open if it persuades US to lift sanctions on Sudan.

Elad Benari ,

Khartoum, Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan

Former Sudanese deputy prime minister Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi told Kan 11 News on Sunday that normalization of ties between Sudan and Israel would be possible if Israel persuades the United States to lift the sanctions it imposed on Sudan during the rule of former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

"If Israel persuades the United States to remove the sanctions imposed on us, the possibility of establishing economic relations between countries will be opened," said al-Mahdi, who was one of the first Sudanese politicians to call for normalization of ties with Israel.

Since he made that call in 2017, continued al-Mahdi, many people he has met on the streets have supported him on the issue. Right now, he told Kan 11 News, Sudan’s top priority is ridding itself of the sanctions imposed on it as a result of Bashir's policies and to use Israel to work to encourage Washington to remove the economic sanctions.

The former Sudanese deputy prime minister said the reactions he has been receiving since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's meeting with Sudan's leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan have been very positive.

Al-Mahdi urged the Palestinian Arabs not to reject US President Donald Trump's peace plan outright, and try to improve it through negotiations. He made it clear that the Sudanese people had sacrificed enough for the Palestinians and the Arabs, and that his country did not intend to hurt its own interests to wage the "wars of others," as he put it.

Sudanese top brass last week backed Burhan's initiative in holding the meeting with Netanyahu, saying it will help boost national security.

While Netanyahu’s office said after the meeting that the two leaders had agreed to cooperate towards normalizing ties, Sudan's cabinet later said that Burhan had made no promise to Netanyahu of "normalizing ties" between the two countries.