Israeli delegation secretly visited Sudan Wednesday.
Israel and the Muslim African nation of Sudan are set to establish full diplomatic ties. The move comes after the U.S. agreed to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
President Trump said that Sudan would first be required to pay $335 million in compensation to American terror victims, however. The money will compensate victims of the 1998 Al-Qaeda bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the Clinton Administration in 1993 after the country granted Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden haven there.
The announcement of imminent ties between Israel and Sudan comes after weeks of reports that the Trump Administration had been twisting arms in Sudan to get it to officially recognize Israel as part of any improvement in its relations with the US.
New ties with Israel became a possibility after the country’s 2019 revolution and the overthrow of its dictator Omar al-Bashir.
Walla news reported that some sort of agreement will be announced after a conference call between
President Donald Trump, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Sudan’s transitional leader Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and its Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Israel Hayom has reported that a plane which traveled to Sudan from Israel on Wednesday carried what the newspaper describes as a high-level Israeli delegation from Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office as well Mossad intelligence agency officials. The Israeli representatives will meet with their Sudanese counterparts.
According to Axios, the Israelis included Ronen Peretz, the acting director-general of Netanyahu’s office and his envoy for the Arab world. American officials on the trip to Sudan included Aryeh Lightstone, a senior adviser to U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
On Sudan Israel ties, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We continue to work to make the case to every country to recognize Israel.”
“We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision. We hope that they’ll do that, and we hope that they’ll do that quickly.”