U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Sudan on Tuesday, where he urged its leaders to normalize relations with Israel. The transitional government responded by saying that it does not have the mandate to make a move now.

Pompeo met with Sudanese Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the ruling sovereign council, and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, reported the AP.

The Sudanese leadership sought to persuade the Trump administration not to make the removal of the country from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism dependent on an agreement with Israel.

“The transitional government does not have the mandate … to decide on normalization with Israel. This matter will be decided after the completion of the transitional authority,” said Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Saleh, according to the report.

The Sudanese military overthrew the 10-year dictatorship of former leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A mixed military-civilian government currently rules the country until possible elections in 2022.

The push by the United State for official diplomatic ties between Israel and Sudan comes on the heels of a normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Pompeo set out from Israel to Sudan on Tuesday on what he said was the first official direct flight between the countries.

“Happy to announce that we are on the FIRST official NONSTOP flight from Israel to Sudan!” he tweeted.

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