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“The government is beginning the official process to normalize relations with Israel. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s statement is ready and as soon as the transitional legislative body has been established, which will take place soon as foreseen by the Constitutional Declaration, the agreement will be approved.”
These are the words of Haider Badawi Sadiq, a spokesperson for the Sudanese government, during a telephone call to us confirming the President of the United States, Tonal Trump, announcement through the White House press secretary, Judd Deere, that Sudan had accepted to stabilize diplomatic normalisation relations with Israel.
Before the announcement, a call between Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chairman of the Sudan Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al Burhan and Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was held. The acceleration was made possible shortly after President Trump removed Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Observers say that the agreement will lead to the first steps to economic and commercial relations including an official institution of diplomatic ties – for the first time between the two countries – and the exchange of ambassadors.
For months, rumours that had never officially been unconfirmed, of a possible agreement to normalize relations between Israel and Sudan had been spreading on the wake of similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrein (Abraham Accords). The question of normalizing relations between Sudan and Israel began on 15 September in Washington a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Previously, in February of this year, Israeli prime Minister had met discreetly with the Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al Burhan, in Entebbe, Uganda.
The announcement of the normalization of relations between Israel and Sudan came on the same day in which the president of the United states, Donald trump, told Congress about the decision to officially remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The White House released a statement specifying that it would be taken off the list in return for $335 million compensation to US victims of terrorism and their families.
“President Donald J. Trump has informed Congress of his intent to formally rescind Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This follows on Sudan’s recent agreement to resolve certain claims of United States victims of terror and their families,” reads the official statement from the White House.
At the beginning of the week, Trump had pre-announced the decision through his Twitter account in which he wrote, “Great news” on the development of Sudan’s request. The long awaited decision was made possible after Khartoum accepted to pay compensation for US victims of terrorism and their families in the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by al Qaeda while its leader, Osama bin Laden, lived in Sudan.
“The decision will help us in the transition, it will allow us to obtain international funding and aid necessary to relaunch Sudan’s economy in its current state of crisis in addition to fuelling the democratic transition efforts of the government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.”