Sudan Opens Airspace to Airline Flying to Israel
Sudan has authorized Latin America’s LATAM airline to use its airspace for flights to Israel, the latest evidence of warming ties between Khartoum and Jerusalem. The move comes after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in February met with Sudanese leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda. Thereafter, the two announced that steps would be taken “to set up teams to work on how to advance cooperation between the countries and establish diplomatic relations.” According to analysts, Sudan is seeking a rapprochement with Israel in order to improve ties with the US, which in 1993 classified the North African nation as a state sponsor of terrorism. In this respect, Sudan harbored al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden for years before he moved his base of operations to then-Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. From a practical standpoint, Khartoum’s decision is expected to reduce LATAM’s flight time to Israel by two hours or more.