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‘A new reality’: Israel and Sudan to sign peace agreement in coming year

February 02, 2023

By Joe Brown

'The peace agreement between Israel and Sudan will promote regional stability and contribute to the national security of the State of Israel'

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen landed back in Tel Aviv after a historic diplomatic visit to Sudan on Thursday, during which he met with the east African state’s President of the Transitional Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to flesh out steps toward full normalization.

During Cohen’s visit, both parties finalized the text of a peace agreement between Jerusalem and Khartoum, which will be made official in a signing ceremony expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government. 

In doing so, Sudan will be the third country to sign a bilateral peace agreement with Israel, alongside Egypt and Jordan. 

During his visit, Cohen also met with Sudan’s political elite and discussed steps toward the imminent signing of the peace treaty, which is planned to take place in a few months.

Cohen was accompanied by a delegation made up of Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director-General Ronan Levy, the Ministry’s Deputy Director for Africa Sharon Bar-Lee, head of the Israel National Aid Agency Einat Shalain, and advisor to the Foreign Ministry’s Legal Counsel Dr. Tal Becker.

In the discussions, Cohen emphasized Israel’s desire to assist with Sudan’s development in a variety of fields including food security, water resources management, agriculture, and more. He also presented an aid program that focuses on projects and capacity building in the fields of humanitarian aid, water purification, and public medicine. 

“Today's visit to Sudan lays the foundations for a historic peace agreement with a strategic Arab and Muslim country,” Cohen said in a statement. “The peace agreement between Israel and Sudan will promote regional stability and contribute to the national security of the State of Israel.”

Sudan, which lies in a strategic location on the shores of the Red Sea, is the third-largest country in Africa and has a Muslim-majority population of some 47 million inhabitants. 

“The signing of the peace agreement will create an opening for the establishment of relations with other countries on the African continent and the strengthening of existing ties with the countries of the continent,” he continued. 

“The connection of African countries with Israel is a common interest for us and the countries of the continent. Israel has been a significant partner, for many years, in the development processes in these countries and in dealing with the consequences of climate change and the economic challenges in Africa.”

Sudan previously fought alongside Arab countries in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and in the Six-Day War in 1967, when it also hosted the Khartoum Conference of the Arab League which established three principles: no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no peace with Israel. The pending peace agreement and building of relations will put an end to 75 years of hostility.

“We are building a new reality with the Sudanese in which the three ‘Nos’ will become the three 'Yes's': yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples."

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