‘Not Sorry at All’ for Talking About Israel, Says Fired Sudan Official
Former Sudan Foreign Ministry spokesman says he does not regret confirming peace moves between his country and Israel.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Former Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Haider Badawi lost his job for confirming to the media that his country is pursuing diplomatic relations with Israel, but he has no regrets.
Interviewed Thursday by Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, Badawi, who was fired this week after making unauthorized comments revealing that Sudan and Israel were working to normalize diplomatic relations, said he is a big supporter of peace with Israel and that it is in Sudan’s interest.
“I’m not sorry at all,” said the former diplomat, who explained that the local media in Sudan were pestering him for a reply after Israel’s Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen revealed the contacts between the two countries. Badawi was annoyed that they had received the news from sources outside of Sudan.
“There should be an open dialogue on this issue,” Badawi said. “We should be as brave as [Sudanese leader Abdel-Fattah] Burhan, who met with Netanyahu and as the leadership in the Emirates.”
Badawi also said that he wants to visit Israel.
Israel and Sudan do not have diplomatic relations, but earlier this year it was revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had met secretly with the Muslim-majority nation’s leader during a trip to Uganda.
This week, Badawi told the Arabic service of Sky News that Sudan was working to “build an exemplary peace deal for all our neighboring countries in the region, so they will be able to follow in our footsteps and do the same with Israel.
“I would like to note here that even Palestinians have had a long history of diplomatic ties with Israel. So, why should it be right for them and considered wrong for us?”
Netanyahu was quick to praise the development and confirm that talks were under way.
“Israel, Sudan and the entire region will benefit from the peace agreement and will be able – together – to build a better future for all peoples of the region. We will do whatever is necessary to turn vision into reality,” Netanyahu said.
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