Israel president calls Sudanese leaders for 'direct talks'

Israel president contacts Sudanese leaders to hurry stalled normalisation efforts
2 min read
04 August, 2021
Israel's President Issac Herzog contacted Sudanese leaders to affirm the normalisation process is taking place after an alleged slowdown in the process.
Isaac Herzog phoned Sudanese leaders on Sunday [Getty]

Israel's president is trying to improve normalisation efforts with Sudan after an apparent slowdown in the process, according to a new report.

Israel President Issac Herzog phoned leaders in Sudan and proposed ​​holding direct meetings between officials from the two countries, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth said on Wednesday.

The move is said to be a response to Sudanese judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool's refusal to compete against Israeli opponent Tohar Butbul in the Tokyo Olympics.

While Abdalrasool did not make a public statement about his decision, Butbul said his team was told the Sudanese judoka had a shoulder injury. The Israeli judoka and his team were not convinced by this explanation.

Sports
Live Story

Both sides said they want to sign a peace agreement soon, the report added.

The call was the first official contact between Israeli and Sudanese officials since the new Israeli government, led by Naftali Bennett, took office.

In June, Israeli media reported that Sudan was unhappy with developments after normalising ties with Israel.

Despite Sudan joining the US-led "Abraham Accords" normalisation process in October, Khartoum believes that Washington has failed to live up to its commitments, according to high-level insiders, with money for Sudanese farming and tech initiatives still yet to appear.

Though Khartoum only signed the so-called Abraham Accords in January, despite officially agreeing to normalise ties in October 2020.

It was the third Arab nation to do so during Trump's normalisation push last year, after the UAE and Bahrain. Morocco also established ties with Israel.

In exchange for agreeing to the rapprochement, Khartoum was taken off the US' "State Supporters of Terrorism" blacklist.