Sudan, a Muslim country considered an enemy of the Jewish State, is the latest African nation to seek diplomatic relations with Israel.
In an unusual move, a senior Sudanese government official has expressed support for establishing diplomatic relations between his country and Israel.
“There is no problem normalizing relations with Israel. The Palestinians normalized relations with Israel even Hamas is talking to Israel,” Mubarak al Fadil al Mahdi, Sudan’s minister of investment, said in an interview Sunday with Sudania 24, a Sudanese satellite station, Haaretz reported.
“The Palestinians receive tax money from Israel and electricity from Israel. The Palestinians sit with Israel and talk to Israel. They have disputes but they sit with them,” al Mahdi explained.
Like other countries in the Arab-Muslim world, Sudan has long viewed Israel as an enemy nation. The African country is famously known for hosting the 1967 Arab League summit in the wake of the Six Day War, where the Arab world issued what became known as the “Three No’s: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”
Currently Israel does not have relations with Sudan, but the Jewish state established full ties with South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011.
Israel is also the only country that Sudanese citizens are barred from entering, while Sudan has had past ties with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Sudan is run by President Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted for war crimes in Darfur in 2009.
Nevertheless, there has been movement within Sudan for normalizing ties with Israel as part of an effort to get economic sanctions lifted by the United States.
Arab World Exploits ‘Palestinian Issue’
In the interview, Fadil also said the Arab world has used the Palestinian issue for “domestic purposes” and they use it to “oppress their own peoples in the name of the struggle for Palestine.”
Fadil also praised Israel for its technology and democracy, saying “one can agree with the Israelis or disagree with them, but they have a democratic regime. They prosecute their leaders and send them to prison and they have transparency.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invested significant diplomatic efforts to foster ties with countries with whom Israel has not historically shared a productive relationship, specifically on the African continent.
“I believe in Africa, I believe in its potential – present and future,” Netanyahu declared while addressing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in June. “It is a continent on the rise. Its people are diverse and talented.”
“I have made strengthening our relations one of our top priorities – national and international priorities of the State of Israel. It’s the reason I became the first Israeli prime minister to visit Africa in decades. Well, one thing I can assure you – it won’t be decades until an Israeli leader visits Africa again. It won’t be five years. It’ll be a few months,” he announced.
In his address to AIPAC last March, Netanyahu observed that Israel has “diplomatic relations with 161 countries, more than at any time in our history.”
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
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