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Israel joins Sudan humanitarian aid effort

June 20, 2023

By Lahav Harkov

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Israel is committed to helping maintain the calm in Sudan.

Israel pledged humanitarian aid this week as part of a UN-led effort to help Sudan recover from its civil war.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen took part in the High-Level Pledging Event for Sudan and the Region, a video conference of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which was led by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“In the spirit of peace between our peoples, we express our solidarity and support and extend a helping hand,” Cohen said.

Jerusalem and Khartoum began a normalization process in 2020 on the heels of the Abraham Accords, during which Israel established relations with the UAE and Bahrain, and later Morocco.

Cohen, who at the time was intelligence minister, and Foreign Ministry Director-General Ronen Levy, who was an envoy to Arab states with which Israel did not have relations, flew multiple times under the code name “Maoz” to build relations with Sudan in early 2021. However, the civil war in Sudan disrupted the process.

Israel is committed to helping maintain the calm in Sudan, Cohen said Monday during the meeting. Israel is willing to take active steps with other partners to rebuild Sudan’s food stores and budget resources to that end, he said.“Israel stands with Sudan in its difficult moments,” Cohen said.

“We are acting on becoming full partners in regional growth and stability…Essential aid in food security is the most immediate need for the Sudanese people in this time of crisis. Israel is ready to help with its knowledge and resources to improve the situation in Sudan.”

Israel intends to continue normalizing relations and make peace with more countries, he said.

Israel in conference alongside states without diplomatic relations

Among the participants in the conference were leading figures in states with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations, such as Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

The opposing sides in the civil war were hosted by Saudi Arabia in Jeddah last month as part of a Saudi-US de-escalation effort. The latest Saudi-led ceasefire effort took place over the weekend.

Prince Faisal said he hoped the efforts would protect civilians and ensure that aid is delivered to those in need, Saudi Arabia-based newspaper Arab News reported. Saudi Arabia has provided $100 million in aid since the beginning of the crisis, including food, health supplies, and shelter.

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