While in Uganda last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan who is currently serving as Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, the country’s collective transitional head of state. The meeting took place in Entebbe on Monday at the residence of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
“A few days before I met with Netanyahu, I prayed to Allah, asking for his advice,” Burhan said, relating the words of his prayer.
“Allah, if this is a good thing for Sudan, please prepare our way for this. If not, send me a sign.’ God gave me the feeling that I should go and meet with him,” Burhan was quoted as saying in Sudanese news.
Israel and Sudan do not have official bilateral relations. Sudan is a member of the Arab League and declared war with Israel in the 1948 War for Independence.
“We did not discuss normalization, but rather [establishing] a relationship of goodwill with the entire world,” Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a press conference with Arab TV stations. “What happened in the meeting was merely a consensus between the two sides to halt all mutually hostile actions and positions. The meeting did not deal with the details regarding the form of relations or what is specifically required to [establish relations]. That is the job of the [transitional] ruling council.”
The meeting came one day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invited Burhan to visit the United States in a phone call. A senior Sudanese military official said Monday the Sudan-Israel meeting was orchestrated by the United Arab Emirates, another close ally of the US.
Burhan told a different story to western news.
“[Normalization of relations with Israel] will be good for Sudan,” JPost reported. With God’s help. All of these actions are in Sudan’s interest. We see others [that have relations with Israel], and even the stakeholders enjoy it.”