Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, says US | DW

Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, says US | DW

Trump announced the agreement in Washington, inviting reporters into the Oval Office during a telephone conference he held with Israeli and Sudanese leaders and praised what he called a peace agreement.

"The leaders agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture".

Announcing the normalisation, Mr Trump said "at least five more" Arab states wanted a peace deal with Israel.

Trump casts the effort as a way to strengthen Israel's security, a priority for American Jewish supporters of Israel.

Trump's announcement, the morning after the final presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden, came after Sudan followed through on its pledge to deliver $335 million USA to compensate American victims of past terror attacks and their families.

Netanyahu hesitated before offering a halting answer: "Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America".

Experts say Sudan's removal from the list is long overdue and if the country's newfound democratic project is to succeed, it needs all the access to worldwide assistance it can get.

Earlier in the week, Trump announced his intention to sign the waiver after Sudan followed through on its pledge to deliver $335 million to compensate American victims of past terror attacks and their families. The country recently agreed to pay $335 million into a fund for USA terrorism victims and their families, as Trump announced earlier this week. Sudan reportedly transferred the money into escrow this week. Obviously the list is as phony as the USA fight against terrorism.

The decision marks the latest turning point for Sudan, which underwent a democratic transition previous year after popular protests ousted decadeslong dictator Bashir.

Sudan played a small part in Arab-Israeli wars and, after Israel's decisive victory in 1967, Khartoum was where the Arab League issued its famous "three no's" - no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel.

Until last month only two Arab nations - Egypt and Jordan - had officially recognised Israel. The issue was not mentioned in the joint statement from Israel, Sudan and the USA released by the White House on the normalization deal.

"The leaders also agreed that delegations will meet in the coming weeks to negotiate agreements of cooperation in those areas as well as in agriculture technology, aviation, migration issues and other areas for the benefit of the two peoples", the statement added.

No matter who wins the presidential election and what they call their foreign policy, thats a strategy that future administrations should follow.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Friday's development as the start of "a new era" in the region. The transitional government has promised elections as soon as 2022.

Congress now has 45 days to veto Sudan's removal from the list, but the White House is betting lawmakers will not have the votes needed to override a potential Trump veto of their own veto. Trump said Sudan had demonstrated its commitment in battling terrorism.

As weve seen with his tough stance on Iran, and his effort to maneuver the Gulf States and now Sudan into peace with Israel, he is not afraid of foreign interventions.

- Israel and Sudan announced plans on Friday to normalize relations in a deal brokered by the US. Biden has stated that he supports more countries recognizing Israel, but he also has said he is committed to a two-state solution, achieving Palestinian statehood as a broader part of peace in the Middle East. He tweeted after the meeting that the two discussed Sudan normalizing relations with Israel.

During the announcement, Trump was joined on the phone by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Sudanese Chairman of the Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

On Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement saying the president had informed Congress of his intent.

The subject of Israel is sensitive in Sudan, and the interim government is already facing protests in Khartoum over declining living standards. The listing had imposed punitive sanctions on Sudan's ability to make dollar transactions and receive aid and investment.

Vatanka said that regional thinking about hostility against Israel was also changing.

Unmentioned in the joint statement was that Sudan has agreed, according to the senior USA official, to designate Lebanon's Hezbollah movement as a terrorist organization, something that Israel has long sought from its neighbours and others in the global community.

Sudan also harbored Osama bin Laden until 1996, though it denies any role in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Hamas officials were similarly indignant, reported the Jerusalem Post. The Washington Post's Max Bearak contributed from Nairobi.

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