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Sudan ‘astonished’ at spokesman’s remarks about ‘contacts’ with Israel

“The Emirates’ move is a brave and bold step and contributes to putting the Arab world on the right track to build peace in the region and to build sustainable peace,” Sadig told Reuters by phone on Tuesday.

“I cannot deny that there are contacts between Sudan and Israel,” he added.

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Netanyahu welcomed Sadig’s remarks, saying on Twitter: “Israel, Sudan and the entire region will benefit from the peace agreement (with the UAE), and together can build a better future for all people in the region. We will do whatever is necessary to turn this vision into a reality.”

But the Sudanese foreign ministry issued a statement later saying it had learned of Sadig’s comments “with astonishment”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan confirms that the issue of relations with Israel was not discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in any way, and Ambassador Haydar Badawi (Sadig) was not assigned to make any statements in this regard,”, the statement added.

Sadig was not immediately available for comment.

Back in February, Burhan confirmed the meeting with Netanyahu but cast doubt on any rapid normalisation of ties, saying Sudan’s stance on the Palestinian issue remains unchanged, and that relations between the two countries was the responsibility of the civilian cabinet in Khartoum.

Scores of Sudanese protesters condemned Burhan’s meeting with Netanyahu in February. Under the long rule of Islamist strongman Omar al-Bashir until his fall in a popular uprising in 2019, Khartoum counted among hardline Muslim foes of Israel.

Sadig said any normalisation of relations with Israel would not be at the expense of “Sudan’s moral values and independence” and be “according to Sudan’s interests”.

“We will not accept unequal relations with Israel.”

Israel says it expects other Gulf Arab countries and Muslim nations in Africa to follow in normalising ties after its breakthrough with the UAE.

Reuters

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