The head of Mossad met his Sudanese counterpart in Germany last month as part of a secret plan by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE to oust President Omar al-Bashir, the London-based Middle East Eye has reported.
Salah Gosh, the head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), met with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 15-17, it cited a senior Sudanese military source as saying.
The meeting was arranged by Egyptian intermediaries with the backing of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the leading online news outlet added.
According to the source, the three Arab countries consider Salah as “their man” to replace Bashir and put an end to his three-decade rule in Sudan.
“There is a consensus that Bashir will go within the ruling party and the army,” said the source, “The battle is about who is coming after.”
“Gosh has strong links with the Saudis, the Emiratis and the Egyptians. They want Bashir out, and they want their man in his place,” the source added.
Bashir, who has been facing months of protests across the country, was not aware of the “unprecedented” meeting between his intelligence chief and Cohen, the sources said.
According to the news website, Gosh also met with European intelligence chiefs during his stay in Munich.
Gosh is well known in Washington, where he earned a reputation during the 2000s as a spy chief with whom the CIA could work, even visiting the US in 2005.
A report by the Africa Intelligence website last month also said that the CIA had identified Gosh as its preferred successor to Bashir if the Sudanese president’s position became untenable.
Citing a report by a Persian Gulf state embassy in Washington, the website said that the CIA was not working to bring about regime change because the Sudanese government was providing valuable intelligence.
But the embassy report said the CIA would work to ensure that Gosh replaced Bashir if the protests could not be contained.
Since December, Sudan has been rocked by a wave of protests calling on Bashir to step down.
In January, Bashir was quoted to have lamented that he had been advised to normalize ties with Israel because a normalization would help stabilize growing unrest sweeping Sudan.
The embattled president declined to specify who gave him the advice but said in a meeting with the religious leaders in the capital Khartoum that he believed “sustenance is in the hands of God.”
Sudan has forged close relations with Saudi Arabia in recent years, reportedly sending troops to Yemen to help the kingdom’s invasion of the impoverished nation.
Israeli media reported in November that the Tel Aviv regime was actively working to establish diplomatic ties with Sudan, as part of wider efforts to upgrade relations with central African countries.