Why did Sudanese general Burhan agree to meet with Netanyahu?


While the Israeli government and Israeli media widely circulated the news of the Burhan-Netanyahu meeting in Uganda, Sudanese outlets have been quiet about the news and the reasons behind such a radical change in Khartoum's long-standing foreign policy.

Sudan officially had been in a state of war with Israel.

As well as the embassy issue, Netanyahu said Israel and Uganda were exploring the possibility of having direct flights and of closer cooperation in cyber security.

Burhan - with whom Netanyahu held two hours of talks on Monday - is the most senior figure in the 39-month multi-step power sharing arrangement that is now serving to govern the country, comprised of a Sovereignty Council that includes the military and civilian parties in Sudan. The sovereign council is a transitional body of Sudan's military officials and civilians that is headed by Burhan, an army general. The statement said Netanyahu "believes that Sudan is moving in a new and positive direction" - an apparent reference to a possible removal from the USA terror list.

Sudan's leader, it added, "is interested in helping his country go through a modernisation process by removing it from isolation and placing it on the world map".

But since Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir was ousted past year, Khartoum has distanced itself from Iran and no longer poses such a threat, Israeli officials say.

Sudan is desperate to lift sanctions linked to its listing by the U.S.as a state sponsor of terror.

"This meeting is a stab in the back of the Palestinian people.at a time when the [US] administration of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are trying to liquidate the Palestinian cause", Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement carried on official news agency WAFA.

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The statement further noted that Pompeo had invited Burhan to Washington, DC to meet with him later in the year.

Netanyahu visited the Gulf Arab state Oman in 2018 and he frequently says the boycott of his country is ending, despite no peace deal with the Palestinians.

"There are two things that we want to very much to achieve, and we discussed in this visit", Netanyahu said in his press conference with Museveni.

On Monday, Netanyahu held talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and called for the opening of missions in each others' countries, during a visit aimed at boosting ties.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital while the Palestinians see the eastern part of the holy city as the capital of their future state.

Israel has continued its plan for strengthening links with African countries as it now has diplomatic relations with 39 of the 47 sub-Saharan African states.

For Israel, there are several upsides beyond the optics of establishing relations with another Arab League country and burnishing its diplomatic credentials.