Senior Israeli officials visited Sudan this week, signaling that normalization between the North African nation and the Jewish state may be on the horizon, Army Radio reported on Thursday.
The report came the day after a business jet was found to have made a rare direct flight from Tel Aviv to Khartoum, returning to Israel after several hours.
MK Ofir Akunis, who serves as Regional Cooperation Minister, said to Army Radio that he expected an announcement on Sudan – Israel normalization would happen before the U.S. election.
“I have a reasonable basis to believe that the announcement will come before November 3. That… is what I understand from my sources,” he said.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Channel 13 News that Israel is “very close to normalizing ties with Sudan.”
In a statement on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. was removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
He said he hoped that Sudan would soon make the decision “to recognize Israel, the rightful Jewish homeland, to acknowledge their fundamental right to exist as a country.”
“We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision,” Pompeo said to local media.
“We hope that they’ll do that, and we hope that they’ll do that quickly.”