Israel, Sudan agree on steps toward normalisation of ties, announcement expected Friday

Israel, Sudan agree on steps toward normalisation of ties, announcement expected Friday

US President Donald Trump has announced that Sudan and Israel have agreed to normalize relations.

The announcement has led to a public outcry in Sudan as angry protesters have taken to the streets to condemn the decision.

To some in Sudan, the move seemed to be a matter of economic pragmatism to end global isolation.

"While Trump has rushed these deals through for pre-election headlines, his admin [instration] continues to empower and excuse the creeping annexation that is created to prevent an Israeli-Palestinian agreement", added J Street.

Sudanese analyst Othman Mirghani said the priority for the government was saving the economy, as inflation has soared to over 200 percent.

"Prime Minister Hamdok was insistent during negotiations with the U.S. that the removal from the list not be linked to normalization as Sudan has met all the criteria for its removal".

The removal of the terror designation opens the door for Sudan to get worldwide loans and aid needed to revive its battered economy and rescue the country's transition to democracy.

"Following Israel's normalisation agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, this is another important step towards greater stability and a more peaceful relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbours", the foreign ministry said.

T Ratagus called the recent developments a "drastic change" for the Middle East, and especially for Sudan.

"After decades of living under a brutal dictatorship, the people of Sudan are finally taking charge", the White House said in a statement.

In a statement released in Jerusalem, Netanyahu noted that in 1967, Khartoum hosted a conference where the Arab League called for no recognition, negotiations or peace with Israel.

Sudan's civilian prime minister, Abdulla Hamdok, thanked Trump over the terror designation and, in the Oval Office, said Sudan was a "tolerant, peace-loving country".

In a poll earlier this month by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, only 13 percent of those questioned in Sudan supported relations with Israel - compared with 79 percent against.

"We had to take a lot of clandestine steps [towards normalization] many of which weren't revealed, sometimes not even to the USA, but they proved themselves", he said.

"We don't need Israel, our country is rich with its resources". Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Trump said on Tuesday that once the funds were transferred, he would remove Sudan from the list.

Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising past year led the military to overthrow the longtime autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.

Earlier this week the USA announced that it would strike Sudan from the blacklist in return for payment of $335 million in compensation for American victims of terror. The deal also is aimed at unifying Arab countries against their common adversary, Iran.

A joint statement said the two had agreed to develop economic and trade relations, with an emphasis on agriculture, as well as to focus on aviation and immigration - a sensitive issue due to the thousands of Darfur refugees facing deportation from Israel. The economic crisis in Sudan has led to bread shortages.

"It benefits only Netanyahu", he added.

The government has been struggling to revive Sudan's battered economy amid a huge budget deficit and widespread shortages of essential goods, including fuel, bread and medicine.

Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir and has made it hard for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.

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