The President of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said on Tuesday that he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “achieve the supreme interests of the Sudanese people”, after local and Palestinian criticism of their meeting in Uganda.
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) quoted what Al-Burhan said, in a press statement, after a meeting of the sovereignty council today, to hear the president’s clarification regarding the meeting.
Al-Burhan said that he met yesterday Netanyahu in Uganda, adding: “I have taken this step from my responsibility to work hard to maintain Sudanese national security and achieve the higher interests of the Sudanese people.”
The President of the Sudanese Council of Sovereignty indicated that “the research and development of the relationship between Sudan and Israel is the responsibility of the institutions concerned, as stipulated in the constitutional document.”
Al Burhan also stressed that “Sudan’s principled stance on the Palestinian issue and the right of its people to establish its independent state has remained and will and will continue to be consistent, in accordance with the Arab consensus and the decisions of the Arab League.”
The meeting between Al-Burhan and Netanyahu caused an uproar in Sudan. The transitional government said that it had not been notified of the meeting, amid Palestinian criticism, which described what happened as a “stab in the back”, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked the proof for his leadership to normalize his country’s relations with Israel. He invited him to meet him in Washington.
On Monday, Netanyahu, through his Twitter account, revealed his meeting with Al Burhan in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, saying that they agreed to launch cooperation that would lead to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel.
Netanyahu stated that Al Burhan wanted to help his country enter the stage of development and modernization by “taking it out of isolation and putting it on the world map”, as he put it.
Al-Burhan is the second senior Sudanese official to meet Israeli officials, after former Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri met with former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, when he was a minister in the Menachem Begin government, on May 13.
Al-Burhan heads the Sudanese Sovereign Council after it was formally formed last August 20, more than 4 months after the overthrow of a popular uprising by former President Omar al-Bashir.
The Sovereignty Council, which is led by Al Burhan, runs the country’s affairs according to a constitutional document signed between the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the Sudanese civil opposition forces.
Under the agreement, the leadership and the civilian council – made up of 11 members – are to be exchanged by the military and civilians during the 39-month transitional period, after which a general election will be held.
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