Sudan's Bashir: We Will Never Normalize Relations With Israel

The Sudanese president says his country is looking for ways to protect itself from alleged attacks by Israel; Sudan blames Israel for explosion at Khartoum arms factory last month.

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Sudanese President Omar Bashir said his country is seeking the capability to defend itself against Israeli strikes, and will never normalize relations with Israel, Sudan's official news agency SUNA cited him as saying on Friday.

His remarks also repeated Khartoum's claim that an explosion at a military factory in the capital last month was from an Israeli attack.

In the transcript from an appearance on the semi-official Blue Nile TV this week, Bashir calls Israel the "Zionist enemy" that "will remain the enemy" and rejects the possibility of normalized relations between the two states.

Israel has not commented on the explosion, in which four were killed. A U.S.-based monitoring group has said satellite imagery suggests a strike.

Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighboring Egypt, has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted nor denied involvement.

Senior officials in Jerusalem also refused to comment on Israel's possible involvement in the incident.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gesturing to anti-Israel protesters after his cabinet held an emergency session over a factory blast, in Khartoum October 24, 2012.Credit: Reuters
Fire engulfing the Yarmouk ammunition factory in Khartoum in October 2012.Credit: Reuters