World Sudan needs 'deep' debate before any Israel deal: PM
Deal to compensate 1998 embassy bombings, lift sanctions on Sudan unravels
Bipartisan deal in Congress to compensate 1998 embassy bombings and lift sanctions on Sudan unravels, imperiling the country's democratic transition. The breakdown risks those victims and their families not receiving any compensation after decades of litigation or Sudan remaining on the U.S. state sponsor of terrorism list, a designation that blocks U.S. and international investment, including from the World Bank.
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has said that normalising ties with Israel was a "complicated" issue needing wide debate within society, media reported Sunday.
Earlier this month, Israel signed US-brokered deals to normalise ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
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The administration of US President Donald Trump wants Sudan to follow suit, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Khartoum in August to push a deal.
Sudan's economy is in crisis, partly due to sanctions imposed because it is on a US blacklist as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism.
On Saturday, Hamdok was questioned by reporters on the two issues of lifting US sanctions and normalising ties with Washington's ally Israel.
"We spoke with the US Secretary of State and told him 'let us separate the two tracks,'" Hamdok said, speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference in Khartoum.
"We hope for success in this matter," he added.
Sudan has been technically at war with Israel for decades.
Hamdok heads the transitional government, which came to power a year ago after Islamist president Omar al-Bashir was ousted, bringing together old rivals into a fragile coalition.
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Removing Sudan from the US blacklist is a priority for the government, but while some leaders are in favour of a political deal with Israel, many oppose.
Any deal with Israel potentially risks undermining Sudan's fragile political unity.
"This is an issue that has many other complications," Hamdok said. "It requires a deep discussion within our society."
Sudan has been on the US blacklist since 1993 because of Bashir's support for jihadists, including Osama bin Laden, who lived in the country for years in the 1990s before heading to Afghanistan.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the transitional sovereign council, told Saturday's conference there was an "opportunity" for change.
"We have the opportunity ... to remove Sudan from the state sponsor of terrorism list, and achieve integration within the global community," Burhan said.
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US push for Arab-Israel ties divides Sudanese leaders .
CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s fragile interim government is sharply divided over normalizing relations with Israel, as it finds itself under intense pressure from the Trump administration to become the third Arab country to do so in short order — after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Washington's push for Sudan-Israel ties is part of a campaign to score foreign policy achievements ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Sudan seemedWashington's push for Sudan-Israel ties is part of a campaign to score foreign policy achievements ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.