Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General and former Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed outrage Monday night over a meeting in Uganda earlier in the day between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al Burhan. Netanyahu and Burhan meet for two hours to discuss the prospects of the two countries cooperating together in a move towards normalization.
The two men held their talks at the invitation of Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, an Evangelical Christian. The office of Israel’s prime minister subsequently released a statement saying that Netanyahu believes that Sudan is “headed in a new positive direction” and that Netanyahu had “expressed his views to the Secretary of State of the United States of America.” Burhan had been invited to Washington DC one day earlier.
In a statement posted to the website of the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency, Erekat condemned the meeting between the two leaders.
The PLO official called the meeting a “stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a flagrant walkout on the Arab peace initiative at a time when the administration of [US] President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are trying to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
Sudan was considered a security threat to Israel in the past because of its close ties to Iran when ruled by long-time Islamist ruler Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown last summer. It was in Sudan that the infamous “Three No’s” were delivered in 1967 – no recognition, no peace and no negotiations with Israel.
Burhan – with whom Netanyahu held two hours of talks on Monday — is the most senior figure in the 39-month multi-step power sharing arrangement that is currently serving to govern the country, comprised of a Sovereignty Council that includes the military and civilian parties in Sudan. Civilian authorities will take the lead in governing Sudan for the final 18 months of the transition to national government.