(Jerusalem, Israel) — On September 1, 1967, soon after the Six Day War, Arab leaders gathered in Khartoum, Sudan, and issued their infamous “three no’s” declaration.
- No peace with Israel
- No negotiations with Israel
- No recognition of Israel
How rapidly the world is now changing.
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met secretly with the new leader of Sudan for the first time. The story is just breaking — no photos yet, and we’ll surely learn more in the days ahead — but Sudan now seems to be saying “yes” to relations with Israel.
The dramatic development underscores the point I’ve been making to reporters in recent weeks. Despite intense resistance by Palestinian leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas to peace talks with Israel, there are a growing number of leaders in the Arab world interested in taking steps towards normalization with the Jewish state.
Here’s what we know at this hour:
- “Dramatically improving ties with a former bitter foe, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with the transitional leader of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, during a whirlwind visit to Uganda,” reported the Times of Israel. “Netanyahu and Burhan met secretly…and agreed to gradually normalize relations, a senior Israeli official [said], speaking on condition of anonymity.”
- “In September, mere days after the new Sudanese cabinet was sworn in, newly appointed Sudanese Foreign Minister Asma Abdullah indicated that her country would be interested in establishing relations with Israel if and when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was solved,” the Times reported.
- “Netanyahu said that he believes that Sudan is moving in a new and positive direction and that he said so to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” reported the Jerusalem Post.
- “Israel is hopeful that in the short term, normalization talks will eventually allow civilian planes from Israel to enter Sudanese airspace, significantly shortening flight times to areas such as South Africa and other regions,” the Post added.
The meeting occurred in Kampala, Uganda, where Netanyahu was meeting with that African country’s Evangelical Christian President Yoweri Museveni. The two discussed improvement in Israeli-Ugandan relations, including the possibility that Uganda will open an embassy in Jerusalem.
What made the trip particularly poignant was that Netanyahu’s older brother, Yoni, was killed in Entebbe in the 1970s while helping the IDF rescue Israelis who’s been taken hostage by terrorists.
(photo: Netanyahu on the right, and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on the left)