Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held unexpected talks with Lt.- Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council.
The unprecedented two-hour meeting was held in Uganda yesterday, having been brokered by Bahrain under the auspices of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Jerusalem and Khartoum have reportedly agreed to begin cooperation toward the eventual normalization of relations.
According to a statement issued by his bureau, “Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Sudan is moving in a new and positive direction and reported that to (U.S.) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.” It was further noted that Burhan is hoping to advance modernization in his country, which has been designated by Washington as a “state sponsor of terrorism” since the early 1990’s due to support of Jihadist organizations, including al-Qaeda.
An Israeli intelligence source speaking to TV7 on condition of anonymity explained that “Sudan is keen on improving its relations with the United States… and is hopeful that a rapprochement with Israel would consequently change Washington’s attitude.”
In addition to other unspecified agreements, normalized ties would likely facilitate Israeli flights over the northeast African Republic to greatly shorten travel to Brazil.
Netanyahu was accompanied on his lightning one-day trip to Uganda by a 45-member delegation of business people and officials, who included Mossad Director Yossi Cohen. Saudi Arabia and Egypt received advance notice of the Israeli-Sudanese summit.
During separate talks, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni discussed bilateral cooperation in the civilian, economic, health, water, energy, media and agricultural sectors. Netanyahu also urged Museveni to open an embassy in Israel. “I have a simple suggestion that you will have time to consider, Mr. President, my friend. You open an embassy in Jerusalem, I will open an embassy in Kampala, and we hope to do this,” said the Israeli leader.
After acknowledging that the western side of Jerusalem was granted to Israel under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, Museveni responded “Iif a friend says, I want your embassy here, rather than there – I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. We are studying that.”