Israel's intelligence minister said Tel Aviv is very close to normalising ties with Sudan.

An Israeli plane is seen at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on October 20, 2020.
An Israeli plane is seen at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on October 20, 2020. (AFP)

Israel says it is close to normalising its relations with Sudan as a delegation visited Khartoum following the Jewish state's US-brokered deals with UAE and Bahrain.

''[Israel is] very close to normalising ties with Sudan,'' the Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said in an interview with the Israeli Channel 13.

Cohen's statement coincides with the start of the process of removing Sudan from the list of countries declared state sponsors of terrorism by the US.

A chartered plane left Tel Aviv for the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, according to the specialised air traffic website Flightradar24.

Sources in Sudan and Israel confirmed to AFP that the visit had taken place on Wednesday.

"A joint American-Israeli delegation visited Khartoum yesterday" and met with Sovereign Council President General Abdel Fattah al Burhan for talks on a normalisation of ties between Sudan and Israel, a Sudanese government source said.

READ MORE: Sudan explores Khartoum's role in advancing Arab-Israeli peace

Meanwhile, other Israeli officials also predicted that the US would announce another deal, where a regional country will establish ties with Israel.

Without mentioning the name of the country, they expected the deal to take place before the US elections.

"I have a reasonable basis to believe that the announcement will come before November 3,” Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis told Israeli Army Radio.

So far, the Sudanese government has not commented on the Israeli media reports.

Earlier on Monday, US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Sudan agreed to pay compensation of $335 million to "US terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism."

Observers connected this US step to the progress in the talks between Sudan and Israel to normalising relations.

READ MORE: Sudan-Israel normalisation deal could hinge on $3B in US aid to Khartoum

Turning point

The Sudanese regime under Omar al Bashir was accused by the US administrations of being responsible for attacks against US interests including the attack against the USS Cole destroyer in 2000 and the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Sudan experienced a historic shift last year as Bashir was ousted in April in the face of youth-led street protests, and it is now turning the page on decades as an international pariah.

It has launched a series of reforms, put Bashir on trial and is cooperating with the International Criminal Court to try him over his regime's scorched-earth campaign in the Darfur region.

Sudan is one of four nations branded by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism, along with Iran, North Korea and Syria, severely impeding access to loans, foreign investment and debt relief.

Source: AA