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Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization of relations

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Israel on Monday sent a delegation to Sudan, its first since last month’s announcement of normalization of relations between the two countries, a senior Israeli official said.

For days there have been rumors in Jerusalem that a delegation would visit Khartoum in the wake of the accord announced by US President Donald Trump on October 23.

Israeli army radio reported Monday that the trip was under way.

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The Israeli official confirmed the report to AFP but declined to say who was in the delegation.

Sudan was the third Arab country this year to announce a deal with Israel, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in February in Uganda with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council.

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In August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled on the first official direct flight from Tel Aviv to Khartoum.

The normalization agreement came a year after the fall of president Omar al-Bashir’s regime and as the transitional authorities in Khartoum drew closer to the United States.

It followed on the heels of Sudan depositing $335 million in a special account to compensate survivors and relatives of victims of the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by al-Qaeda.

The attacks, which al-Bashir had welcomed, had killed more than 200 people.

After the money was deposited Trump formally moved to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.