Elad Benari, Canada
22/08/2020- Mossad chief Yossi Cohen met with a senior Sudanese official in a meeting that was organized and hosted by the United Arab Emirates, the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper reported on Friday.
According to the report, UAE national security advisor Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan arranged the meeting between Cohen and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the Sudan Sovereignty Council, and was present for it as well.
Sources with knowledge of the meeting told the newspaper that Sudan’s military council is interested in improving ties with Israel.
The report follows this week’s comments by the spokesman of Sudan’s foreign ministry, Haider Badawi Sadig, who praised the United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalize relations with Israel as « a brave and bold step » and added, « I cannot deny that there are contacts between Sudan and Israel.”
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry later said it was “astonished” by the spokesman’s remarks and added he “was not assigned to make any statements in this regard”.
Sadig was subsequently fired for his comments.
Israel and Sudan have had no formal ties in the past. In 2016, the country’s then-Foreign Minister hinted that his country could consider normalizing ties with Israel, but the government was then quick to that his comments were “taken out of context”.
In February, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met the head of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, during a visit to Uganda.
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.