Skip to main content

US asks Israel to push Burhan to end Sudan coup: Report

US official said the Biden administration made it clear that Israel-Sudan normalisation could not continue amid the current instability, according to Axios
US envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said Burhan “hijacked and betrayed” the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.
US envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had 'hijacked and betrayed' the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people (AFP/File photo)

The US has asked Israel to use its close ties with Sudan's military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and urge him to end the coup and return to civilian rule, Axios reported.

Citing Israeli and US officials, Axios reported on Wednesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz last week and asked that Israel encourage the Sudanese military to end the coup.

One US official told the news site that the Biden administration made it clear the normalisation of ties between Israel and Sudan would not be able to continue amid the current instability in the country. Immediately after the coup took place, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the "normalisation effort between Israel and Sudan is something that will have to be evaluated".

Sudan coup: Saudi Arabia and UAE join western calls against military takeover
Read More »

The Biden administration's message was also passed to officials in the Israeli prime minister's office and the foreign ministry, according to the report.

When asked about whether Blinken spoke about this issue with Israel, Price said during a news briefing on Wednesday that "we have been in touch at very senior levels with very senior interlocutors throughout the region and beyond, and that includes with Israel".

Israel has said little of last month's events in Khartoum, where Burhan enacted a military coup that upended the democratic transition in the country.

Meanwhile, the US has been calling on its allies with close ties to Sudan's military to call for an end to the takeover and a return to a civilian-led political process.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the US and the UK in a joint statement that called "for the full and immediate restoration of its civilian-led transitional government and institutions".

Israel-Burhan ties

Israel and Sudan have enjoyed strong relations since they agreed to a US-brokered deal to normalise ties.

A Sudanese military delegation visited Israel two weeks prior to the coup and held talks with officials at the prime minister's office and the national intelligence agency, the Mossad. Sudanese officers gave no indication they were planning a coup, Israeli officials told Axios.

Earlier this week, a Mossad delegation visited Khartoum and met Sudanese military officials. Israeli officials say it was just a fact-finding mission and that the meetings were not with Burhan but with lower-level officials.

An Israeli official previously told a popular right-wing daily that the country should support Burhan following his military takeover, adding that the general was "more inclined to bolster ties with the US and Israel".

Washington has, however, severely condemned the coup. US envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said Burhan and his supporters in the military "hijacked and betrayed" the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.

Feltman is expected to visit Israel for talks on Sudan on Sunday, according to Axios. He will also travel to Sudan again in the coming days.

An advisor to Burhan said the return to civilian rule was imminent, Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya reported.

Meanwhile, the UN's Human Rights Council will debate the situation in Sudan on Friday. Several countries including the US - which currently only holds an observer status - put forward a draft resolution before the meeting, calling on Sudan to return to civilian rule as soon as possible.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.