- "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not discuss the relations with Israel," Sudan's acting Foreign Minister Omer Gamar-Eddin said in a statement.
- Netanyahu welcomed Sadig’s remarks on Twitter.
- Sudan remains of great strategic importance to Israel.
After statements about “contacts” between his country and Israel, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry relieved its spokesman, Haydar Sadig, from his post. The ministry had expressed its “surprise” at Sadig’s statements, and confirmed that it did not discuss establishing relations with Israel.
On Wednesday, the Sudanese Foreign Minister-designate Omar Qamar El-Din Ismail issued a decision to fire Sadig from his position as an official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Media Department, according to what was published by the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA), without further details.
The official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sadig, made his statements to regional media and confirmed them to Reuters on Tuesday, describing the decision of the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel as “a brave and bold step.”
“I cannot deny that there are contacts between Sudan and Israel,” he added. “The Emirates’ move is a brave and bold step, and contributes to putting the Arab world on the right track to build peace in the region and to build sustainable peace,” Sadig told Reuters by phone on Tuesday.
The decision to fire Sadig came a day after the Foreign Minister announced yesterday that his ministry had not discussed “in any way” the matter of relations between Sudan and Israel, and that it did not instruct the official spokesperson to make any statement about this matter.
Netanyahu welcomed Sadig’s remarks and tweeted:
“Israel, Sudan, and the entire region will benefit from the peace agreement [with the UAE], and together can build a better future for all people in the region. We will do whatever is necessary to turn this vision into a reality.”
In a press statement, the minister said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not discuss the relations with Israel,” Sudan’s acting Foreign Minister Omer Gamar-Eddin said in a statement. “Haidar Badawi al-Sadiq has not been assigned to make any statements in this regard,” he added.
Even the most optimistic about Arab-Israeli normalization did not expect Sudan to be a new station for Israel for the sake of it. Initiation of cooperation leading to the normalization of relations between the two countries, as stated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after meeting with President Sudanese Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in Uganda.
Sudan was, until recently, one of the strongest Arab fortresses that declared hostility to Israel. Indeed, the ousted President, Omar al-Bashir, declared as such in the last year of his presidency.
Although the Sudanese government was quick to deny its knowledge of this coordination, the Israeli statements would not have been made public, had it not been for the intention of the leader of the transitional phase in Sudan to normalize relations.
This is especially true since al-Burhan confirmed this in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to a US State Department spokesperson. This opens up more areas for a better relationship between Sudan and the United States, according to the same source.
Sudan remains of great strategic importance to Israel, as it is located in a region that has relations with the latter, whether its northern neighbor Egypt or other neighboring countries in the south, such as South Sudan, Uganda, and Eritrea.
The inclusion of Sudan into the “group of partners” would give Israel a strong impetus to expand its external presence, in addition to significant economic benefits, including competition from regional powers, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, competing to gain influence in Sudan.