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Sudan agrees to normalise ties with Israel

October 24, 2020

Sudan on Friday agreed to take steps to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, in a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump.

Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, sealed the agreement in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The Trump administration’s decision this week to remove Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism paved the way for the agreement with Israel. Shortly before the Israel-Sudan deal was announced, Trump notified Congress of “his intent to formally rescind Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

“The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations,” according to a joint statement issued by the three countries.

Israel and Sudan plan to begin by opening economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture, the joint statement said.

'The Sudanese government has demonstrated its courage and commitment to combatting terrorism, building its democratic institutions, and improving its relations with its neighbors,' the statement said, adding that the agreement would 'improve regional security.'

Prime Minister Netanyahu, Chairman al-Burhan, and Prime Minister Hamdok expressed their appreciation for President Trump for his unique approach to ending old conflicts and building a future of peace and opportunity for all the people of the region.

Khartoum is now the third Arab government to normalise relations with Israel in the last two months, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman of the Islamist group Hamas, a traditional ally of Sudan, told Reuters Sudan’s move was a step in the “wrong direction.”

“Sudan joining other countries in normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation will encourage the Zionist enemy to commit more crimes and more violations against the Palestinian people,” said Barhoum.

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