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Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen became the first Israeli government minister ever to visit Sudan on Monday.

Driving the news: Cohen met in Khartoum with the head of Sudan's governing council, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, as well as Sudan's minister of defense and intelligence chief. The meeting comes three months after a U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Israel and Sudan.

  • During the visit, Cohen and the Sudanese officials discussed plans to cancel a 1958 boycott law which bans Sudanese nationals from traveling to Israel, trading with Israel, or engaging in any contacts with Israeli entities.
  • Flashback: Secret meetings between Sudanese and Israeli ministers took place in the 1950's and the 1980's, as well as last year, but never in Sudan itself.

Background: Under the U.S.-Sudan-Israel deal, the Trump administration removed Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list and provided a large aid package.

  • The Trump administration wanted to organize a trilateral signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, but COVID-19 restrictions and tensions on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border made that impossible.
  • Instead, then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin traveled to Khartoum and signed the Abraham Accords declaration — the same declaration signed by the UAE and Bahrain as part of their deals with Israel — with the Sudanese minister of justice.

What’s next: The deputy commander of U.S. Africa Command will visit Khartoum on Tuesday and meet with Burhan and other senior official to discuss military and counterterrorism cooperation.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden turns the page on Trump's Israel-Palestine policies

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: David Furst/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.

6 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.