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August 19, 2020 4:08 pm

Top Israeli Minister Remains Optimistic About Normalization With Sudan Despite Denial

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Motorists line up at a gas station, in Khartoum, Sudan, Feb. 10, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah.

Israel’s intelligence minister expressed optimism on Wednesday about the prospect of the normalization agreement between Israel and Sudan, despite an apparent denial from the latter that such a deal was in the offing.

Rumors of a potential accord have been ping-ponging across the media over the past several days, in the wake of the normalization agreement Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced last week.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said such a deal was imminent, and this was quickly hailed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Shortly after, however, the ministry refuted its own spokesman’s remarks and later fired him.

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Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen, however, told Ynet on Wednesday that he remained hopeful about a possible Israel-Sudan accord.

“There is a growing closeness between Israel and Sudan,” he commented. “There have been meetings at the leadership level, there is a dialogue between the two countries, and I believe that this will mature to the point of advancing an agreement between the countries, but we will have to wait and see.”

“There is no reason for there not to be a peace agreement,” Cohen added. “There are all the security and economic reasons to progress toward an agreement.”

Cohen said he believed Israel was looking at a “political tsunami of additional agreements,” and the UAE deal was only the first step in the process.

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