On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu visited Uganda for the second time during his premiership, and discussed with the country’s president a full restoration of diplomatic ties. While there, the Israeli prime minister also met with the leader of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who came to power ten months ago after the overthrow of the dictator Omar al-Bashir. Dore Gold explains the geostrategic and symbolic significance of the meeting:
It was on September 1, 1967, just after Israel’s lightning victory in the Six-Day War, that an Arab League Summit convened in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and issued what became known as the Khartoum Declaration, or simply the three no’s: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.” Today that declaration has been reversed, symbolizing the beginning of the end to the Arab-Israeli wars that raged for decades in the past.
Sudan has multiple connections to the worst conflicts that Israel and the West have faced. The Sudanese brought together many of the main Islamist militant organizations from around the Middle East and supplied them with training camps, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Algerian GIA, Hizballah, and even the PLO. Sudan was one of the earliest places that hosted the Saudi jihadist Osama bin Laden before he made Afghanistan his main base of operations in the summer of 1996. It provided neutral ground where al-Qaeda could meet with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Sudan was incorporated into the regional network of Iran as well. Tehran gained access to Port Sudan on the Red Sea for its naval forces. . . . This was [part of] one of the key supply routes for Hamas as it built up its capacity to wage war against Israel.
In short, while it was geographically on the periphery of the Middle East, Sudan was part of the joint front against Israel in many significant ways. With Sudan exploring new ties with Israel, that front has been split.