Flag of Sudan
Flag of Sudan iStock

Sudan's foreign ministry spokesman was fired on Wednesday, after he made allegedly unauthorized comments indicating contact had been made with Israel regarding normalizing ties, state media said.

Israel remains technically at war with Sudan, which for years supported hardline Islamist forces.

"Foreign Minister Omar Qamareddin has dismissed Haider Badawi from his position as spokesman and head of the media division" at the ministry, according to a statement by the official SUNA news agency.

When asked by AFP on Tuesday if there had been direct contact between Sudan and Israel, or whether Khartoum had taken steps to normalize ties with the Jewish state or sign a peace deal, Badawi responded, "I cannot deny it".

Badawi also told Sky News Arabia television on Tuesday that "there is no reason for the continuation of hostilities between Sudan and Israel".

But Qamareddin later that day said "the question of relations with the Israelis has never been discussed by the Sudanese government".

"The declaration made by Sudan's foreign ministry spokesman Haider Badawi has astonished us because he is not mandated to comment on this subject," Qamareddin added in a statement.

Last week, Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations, a historic shift making the Gulf state only the third Arab country to agree to establish full diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

The Israeli press had said Bahrain or Oman but also Sudan could be next.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who heads Sudan's transitional sovereign council, met with Netanyahu in February for talks that appeared to signal an end to Khartoum's long-standing boycott of the Jewish state.

Soon after their meeting, held in Uganda, Netanyahu announced that the two leaders had agreed to cooperate towards normalizing ties.

Sudan's cabinet later denied that Burhan had made promises of normalization.

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