Israel Working to Establish Diplomatic Ties With Sudan, Bahrain

Two years ago, after Sudan severed its relationship with Iran, Haaretz reported that Israel had urged the United States and other countries to improve their relationship with the Arab African country in response

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir addresses the crowd during a rally supporting the peace process in Al Fashir, capital of North Darfur, September 7, 2016.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters

Having just taken a major step toward reestablishing relations with Chad, Israel is now working to establish diplomatic ties with Sudan and Bahrain.

In 2009, an international arrest warrant was issued against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, where Sudanese forces slaughtered hundreds of thousands of African tribesmen.

If ties with Sudan are reestablished, a possibility first reported by Israel Television News, this would shorten flight times from Israel to Brazil.

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Two years ago, after Sudan severed its relationship with Iran, Haaretz reported that Israel had urged the United States and other countries to improve their relationship with the Arab African country in response. The Foreign Ministry’s assessment at the time was that Sudan severed its ties with Iran in 2015 because arms smuggling via Sudan to the Gaza Strip had halted and the Sudanese were drawing closer to the Sunni Arab bloc headed by Saudi Arabia.

The president of Chad, Idriss Deby, arrived in Israel on Sunday after 46 years in which diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed. But at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he stressed that a renewal of ties wouldn’t remove the Palestinian issue from the agenda, noting that he had said repeatedly at the United Nations that his country wants to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians.