Israeli PM Netanyahu continues his charm offensive in the region with a visit to Uganda, meeting with Sudanese leader
In a surprise development that was previewed by Mr. Netanyahu’s expressed hope for “good news” when he departed for Entebbe, Uganda earlier today, Sudanese head of the sovereignty council and the de facto leader of Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan arrived in Entebbe and met with the Israeli prime minister. The meeting between the two heads of state representing countries that do not currently maintain diplomatic relations lasted over two hours and resulted in an agreement to open negotiations that would lead to the establishment of full diplomatic ties between the two countries in the near future.
Sudan is located in Southeastern Africa. It is a Muslim country of 43 million people that has recently been seeking international help with modernization and reentry into the international community after being branded as “extremist”. The normalization of ties with Israel will doubtlessly advance both of these objectives. As to Israel, it has long been active in Africa, helping developing nations achieve better results with agriculture in arid conditions, setting up oil refineries, and the like. For most of that time, these ties were undisclosed due to the desire of the African nations to not be seen as helping Israel become an accepted feature of the Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape. However, recent acceptance of Israel by many Gulf nations led by Saudi Arabia has made it possible for countries such as Sudan to establish public ties with the Jewish State.
Coming as it does less than a month before Israeli elections, this diplomatic coup cements Mr. Netanyahu’s legacy of establishing Israel as a full and important player in the Middle Eastern and North African regions.