'Sudanese refugees in danger' (archives)
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Report: Sudan allows citizens to visit Israel
Sudanese government removes passport stamp reading that it is valid for 'All Countries Except Israel' in what is said to be a technical procedure. Foreign Ministry: It's too early to celebrate, as Sudan remains one of most hostile countries towards Israel
The Sudanese government has downplayed the significance of changes made to the new generation of Sudanese passports that practically allows its bearer to use it to travel to Israel, the Sudan Tribune reported two weeks ago. But the Israeli Foreign Minister says this is not a sign that the relations between the two countries are warming out.


"We are looking into it," a ministry official said Tuesday, "but it's too early to celebrate."


According to the report, Khartoum removed a statement on the Machine Readable Passports (MRP) nullifying the validity of the document if used for Israel bound trips.


The old Sudanese passport had a stamp on it reading that it is valid for “All Countries Except Israel”. South Africa is the only other country to be covered by this ban in the history of Sudanese passports during the apartheid era.

Major General Adam Daleel, assistant police chief for passports and civil registry, was quoted by the Sudan Tribune as saying that removing the ban was a procedural decision relating to the size of the stamp on the passport.

He stressed that people should not read too much into this step stressing that Sudan is committed to Arab embargo on Israel that commenced in 1958. The Sudanese official added that removing the stamp should not be understood as endorsing trips by its citizens to the Jewish state.


He noted that the Sudanese national assembly at some point objected to the stamp saying it is a recognition of Israel. Daleel acknowledged that Sudanese citizens can use the passport to travel to Israel if they reside outside the country but that the authorities will not grant an exit visa to anyone intending to head towards the Jewish state.


Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yossi Levy said in response, "We are familiar with the report. We are looking into its genuineness but warn that it's too early to celebrate. Sudan is one of the most hostile countries towards Israel, if not the most venomous ones."


Levy added that Sudanese refugees who have escaped the country and taken shelter in Israel "will be in danger if they return to Sudan, judging from statements made by Sudanese officials. The Sudanese themselves have warned that this is only a technical procedure which stems from a change in passports scheduled to be implemented by 2010. We refer to this report with a lot of skepticism, as Sudan is still a hostile country."


פרסום ראשון: 10.27.09, 21:53
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