Normalization of Sudanese and Israeli Relations: From Hostility to Pragmatic Conciliation

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İçtimaiyat (Online), vol.6, no.1, pp.327-343, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


This article investigates the elements of continuity and rupture in the relations between Sudan and Israel from the time of Sudan’s independence until the end of Omar al-Bashir's rule in order to better understand the recent normalization of ties between these two countries. Through process tracing, the study examines, first, the period before independence when Sudan established contacts with Israel, followed by the Abboud regime that severed ties, and later the rule of Nimeiry when relations continued implicitly. The article explains the reasons for the tensions in the relationship between Sudan and Israel after Islamists came to power in 1989 as well as the defining features of the post-Bashir period. Although the so-called Sudan’s normalization of relations with Israel that started after Bashir was ousted from power in April 2019 is viewed as a dramatic change in Sudan’s foreign policy by many analysts, this study argues that to the contrary, the recent developments actually point to the continuities.