World Israel and Sudan reach U.S.-brokered deal to normalize ties
Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation
The details of the Israel-Sudan deal were not clear. But Trump's announcement came days after he agreed to remove Sudan from list of terrorism sponsors.The details of the Sudan-Israel agreement, coming just days before the Nov. 3 election, were not immediately clear. Trump announced the news as he spoke with the leaders of Sudan and Israel on speaker phone in front of reporters, who had been called into the Oval Office.
By Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel and Sudan agreed on Friday to take steps to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Khartoum the third Arab government to set aside hostilities with Israel in the last two months.
U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking re-election on Nov. 3, sealed the agreement in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, senior U.S. officials said.
Sudanese split over normalising relations with Israel
Sudan's move to normalise relations with Israel has laid bare deep splits within society, with some bashing the deal as betrayal and others as a way to rescue the devastated economy. The move -- announced Friday -- came shortly after US President Donald Trump declared that Washington was formally moving to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation that strangled Khartoum's economy for decades. But the announcement revealed divisions between political forces in Sudan, currently undergoing a rocky transition since the April 2019 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir following mass protests against his three-decade rule.
Trump's decision earlier this week to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism paved the way for the deal with Israel, marking a foreign policy achievement for the Republican president as he seeks a second term trailing in opinion polls behind Democratic rival Joe Biden.
"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.
'No blood in the sand': Trump lauds normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel
President Trump is celebrating another Middle Eastern peace deal that he helped engineer between two regional foes. © Provided by Washington Examiner On Friday, less than two weeks before Election Day, Trump informed Congress he would remove Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, allowing a path forward for the normalization of relations among the United States, Sudan, and Israel.
Israel and Sudan plan to begin by opening economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture, the joint statement said. A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said such issues as formal establishment of diplomatic ties would be resolved later.
Trump announced on Monday he would take Sudan off the terrorism list once it had deposited $335 million it had pledged to pay in compensation. Khartoum has since placed the funds in a special escrow account for victims of al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
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 White House called the move a "pivotal turning point" for Khartoum, which is seeking to emerge from decades of isolation.
Trump announces plans to remove Sudan from state sponsors of terrorism list
President Donald Trump announced Monday that he intends to lift Sudan's state sponsor of terrorism designation -- news that comes as the transitional government in Khartoum could deliver him a diplomatic victory ahead of the US presidential election. © Alex Brandon/AP President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Muskegon County Airport, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Norton Shores, Mich.
Trump's aides have been pressing Sudan to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel, following similar U.S.-brokered moves in recent weeks by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
A sticking point in the negotiations was Sudan's insistence that any announcement of Khartoum's delisting from the terrorism designation not be explicitly linked to establishing ties with Israel.
The military and civilian leaders of Sudan's transitional government have been divided over how fast and how far to go in establishing ties with Israel.
Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir and has made it difficult for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
Many in Sudan say the designation, imposed in 1993 because Washington believed Bashir was supporting militant groups, has become outdated since he was removed last year.
U.S. congressional legislation is needed to shield Khartoum from future legal claims over past attacks to ensure the flow of payments to the embassy bombing victims and their families.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller)
Trump says he will remove Sudan from list of countries that sponsor terrorism .
President Trump announced that the United States will soon remove Sudan from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism, paving the way for further international collaboration. The move, announced Monday, comes after months of Sudanese officials negotiating the terms for the African country to be nixed from the list, which includes the likes of Iran, Syria, and North Korea. According to Trump, who announced the move via Twitter, removal from the list is contingent upon Sudan disbursing $335 million to U.S. families and victims of terrorism, specifically the 1998 al Qaeda bombings against U.S.