A representative from the Israeli Foreign Ministry conducted a secret meeting in Turkey with Sudanese officials last year in an effort to resume diplomatic relations between the two nations, despite the tension over the past several decades, according to Axios.

At the gathering in the Istanbul office of a Turkish businessman and close ally of Sudanese President (and wanted war criminal) Omar al-Bashir, the Israeli delegation “gave the Sudan file to a senior diplomat in charge of relations with countries with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations,” stated the Axios report. “The Sudanese sent to the meeting a senior aide to the then-intelligence chief, Mohamed Atta, who is now serving as Sudan’s ambassador to Washington.”

A source briefed on the meeting told the outlet “the Israelis and Sudanese discussed the warming of relations between the countries and possible Israeli aid to Sudan in the fields of medicine, agriculture and the economy.”

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman did not deny the report, though declined to comment to Axios.

Israel is the only country that Sudan does not permit its citizens to visit.

This development comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to forge improved ties with Arab countries, including in Africa.

The president of Chad, Idriss Déby, made a historic visit to Israel on Sunday with a focus on security issues, marking the first visit by a Chadian president since Israel’s founding in 1948. Chad cut all diplomatic relations with Israel in 1972.