Gilad Erdan/Twitter

Talks aimed to the ground running with expected normalization of relations, two missions dealing with defense and civilian fields.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The normalization agreement between Israel and Sudan is beginning to take shape, with two Israeli delegations set to depart for Khartoum in the coming weeks.

A small delegation of defense and security officials is expected in Sudan this week, headed by a Mossad agent known as “Stronghold” who has been at the forefront of Jerusalem’s contacts with Sudanese leaders. Those efforts led to the announcement in August that the two countries would normalize diplomatic relations.

The establishment of formal relations between the countries has great potential in a variety of areas, including security, economics, and energy.

Later this month, a larger civilian delegation will travel to Sudan to discuss economic issues, including trade, water technology and agriculture.

Establishing ties with Israel helped get Sudan into Washington’s good graces and facilitated its removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. That in itself will eliminate many of the economic sanctions on the country.

Last week Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, held what he called the “first historic meeting” with the Sudanese delegation at the world body.

“I have now met with Sudanese Ambassador to the United Nations Omar Sigid to translate into action the expected peace between our countries,” Erdan tweeted. “We agreed to start and promote together projects in the field of water, agriculture and our common struggle against corona. I feel a great privilege to represent Israel during this period.”

At a recent cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out the importance of sending missions to foreign countries to help change attitudes in the Arab world.

“Peace deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and normalization with Sudan have not fallen on us from the sky,” Netanyahu said. “It has come from a change in policy. In the last decade, Israeli governments have systematically nurtured our power when it comes to security, economy, cyber, foreign relations and other spheres.”