World Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation
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.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Friday thathas agreed to begin normalizing relations with Israel, just days after his administration said it would take the North African country off the U.S. list of state
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.
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.
"The state of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace," Trump told reporters.
A statement from the White House was less sweeping in its description of the deal.
"The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations," the statement read.
It comes days after Trump announced he would take Sudan off the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism – a pivotal move that will help end Sudan's financial isolation and bolster its transition from dictatorship to democracy.
The White House agreed to lift that designation afteragreed to pay more than $300 million dollars to American victims of the 2000 USS Cole attack and the 1998 embassy bombings, both of which were linked to al-Qaida, the militant group founded by Osama bin Laden.
American terrorism victims reject Trump's Sudan deal
American victims of terrorism are rejecting President Trump's plan to have Sudan pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle claims in exchange for dropping its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.The majority of victims and the families of victims of the 1998 twin embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the majority of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks say the Trump administration has isolated them and rejected their concerns in negotiations with Sudan. Trump on Monday announced that the U.S.
"GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!"
Sudan's prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, said taking Sudan off the terror list would lift "the heaviest legacy" of Sudan's old regime.
"As we’re about to get rid of the heaviest legacy of Sudan’s previous, defunct regime, I should reiterate that we are peace-loving people and have never supported terrorism,"The US shift is "the strongest support to Sudan’s transition to democracy and to the Sudanese people," he said.
The U.S. terrorism designation has blocked Sudan from fully participating in the global economy, restricting the country's ability to get debt relief and investment from international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The African country is reeling, with the Sudanese people facing bread and fuel lines amid spiraling inflation.
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The Trump administration said under the new agreement, the U.S. would also work with Sudan to help ease its debt burden and become a part of the broader international community.
"The Sudanese transitional government has demonstrated its courage and commitment to combating terrorism, building its democratic institutions, and improving its relations with its neighbors," Friday's White House statement said.
"In light of this historic progress ... the United States and Israel agreed to partner with Sudan in its new start and ensure that it is fully integrated into the international community," the White House said. "The United States will take steps to restore Sudan’s sovereign immunity and to engage its international partners to reduce Sudan’s debt burdens."
Sudanese officials said the U.S. policy change will lift a financial and political albatross, but cautioned it would not be a panacea.
“The Sudanese economy will not feel a fundamental change tomorrow morning,” Acting Finance Minister Hiba Mohamed Ali said at a news conference Tuesday,. “But there will be some rapid improvements, including moral and psychological.”
Israel, Sudan Make 'Peace' in Third Arab World Deal Overseen By Donald Trump
Sudan has joined the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel under deals overseen by President Donald Trump.The move comes shortly after Trump officially announced to Congress his intent to remove Sudan from the State Department's list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Khartoum agreed to provide $335 million to victims of terrorism ahead of the decision.
As part of the terrorism de-listing, the Trump administration pressed Sudan to agree to normalize relations with Israel, in addition to settling the terror claims from U.S. victims.
It is part of a broader effort to get Muslim countries to recognize Israel; Trump has also helped secure agreements from theto establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Trump has hailed the UAE and Bahrain deals as a major foreign policy victory and a move toward greater peace in the Middle East.
"Now multiple Arab countries across two continents have made peace with Israel," Trump said Friday.
But the push for Sudan to ink its own deal with Israel comes at a delicate time for the African country. Sudan's new government is working to make democratic reforms after Sudanese protesters took to the streets last year and ousted then-President Omar al-Bashir, whose brutal regime had ruled the country for three decades.
Cameron Hudson, a Sudan expert who served in both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, said the Trump administration was trying to get "something for nothing" by pressuring Sudan to normalize ties with Israel.
The State Department had already made a commitment to take Sudan off the terrorism list, and Pompeo made a "last minute bid" to squeeze more from Sudan, he said.
'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.
Last month, Sudan's ambassador to the United States,told USA TODAY that the transitional government was not in a good position to make such a sweeping foreign policy decision. Its mandate is to strengthen Sudan's economy, "which is very dire," he said, and "it's very difficult to consider other things which are not the priority" of the Sudanese people.
Contributing: David Jackson
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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