Skip to main content

Netanyahu’s Africa blitz includes photo ops, pleasing US

Israeli diplomats fear that the drive for cooperation projects with African countries is being replaced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire for photo-ops and by hints that relations with Jerusalem would open the door to Washington.
Read in 

Sudan reported Feb. 2 that Washington had invited head of its Sovereign Council Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan for a visit. The following day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Uganda, secretly meeting there with Burhan. After the meeting, Netanyahu announced proudly to the world that Israel and Sudan, two enemy countries, agreed to work together toward normalizing ties. A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office noted that the prime minister believed the current Sudanese regime is headed in a new positive direction, and that he had also expressed this view to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Burhan is eager to help his country modernize by taking it out of isolation and putting it on the world's map," the statement read.

Indeed, Netanyahu’s diplomatic blitz was applauded not just in Jerusalem, but also in Washington. Pompeo praised both countries, congratulating Burhan on "his leadership in normalizing ties with Israel." In Sudan, on the other hand, things looked a bit different, with the government cautiously noting that Burhan informed no one and consulted no one before taking off to Uganda. Clearly, the road to normalizing ties between Khartoum and Jerusalem is not going to be as smooth as presented by Netanyahu in Kampala.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.