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Israel Hails New First In Relations With Sudan

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Eli Cohen, the Israeli Minister of Intelligence, led a delegation to Khartoum, a spokesperson said Tuesday, months after Sudan and the Jewish state signed an agreement to normalize relations.

The Monday tour represented the first time a delegation to the African state was led by an Israeli official, Cohen’s office said.

The visit was not reported by the Sudanese state media.

The Israeli intelligence ministry said members of the delegation met head of state General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Defence Minister Yassin Ibrahim for talks on “diplomatic, security and economic issues”.

“A first-ever memorandum on these topics was signed between the Sudanese defence minister and Cohen,” it said.

The sides also discussed “deepening intelligence cooperation”.

“The Sudanese authorities briefed the Israeli delegation on their progress on cancelling the law boycotting Israel, and amending the law imprisoning Sudanese migrants, including to Israel, who return to Sudan,” the ministry added.

In October last year, Sudan decided to normalize relations with Israel and an Israeli delegation visited Khartoum the following month.

Sudan signed the ‘Abraham Accords’ on January 6, normalizing relations with Israel, making it the third Arab nation to do so, following last year’s United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In December, Morocco also normalized its relations with Israel.

Khartoum signed the accords less than a month after Washington excluded it from the “state sponsors of terrorism” blacklist as part of a quid pro quo.

In Sudan, however, demonstrations against normalisation have continued. Dozens of demonstrators assembled outside the cabinet office in Khartoum on January 17 and burned the Israeli flag.

Until last year, Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab countries to recognize Israel in their decades-old bilateral peace agreements.

Other Arab governments refused to normalise relations until Israel reached a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians and its other neighbours.

Cohen said his visit to Khartoum “laid the foundations for many important collaborations that will help Israel and Sudan, boost regional stability, deepen our ties with Africa and lead to more agreements with states in the region”.

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