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World Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation

21:30  23 october  2020
21:30  23 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Trump announces plans to remove Sudan from state sponsors of terrorism list

  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 that Sudan has 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 sponsors of terrorism.

Mike Pompeo in a business suit sitting at a table: President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. © Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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

  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.

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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 after Sudan's government agreed 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 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," Hamdok tweeted in response to Trump's post earlier this week. 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."

'It defies logic.' 9/11 families urge Trump administration to drop deal to take Sudan off terror list

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, according to Reuters. “But there will be some rapid improvements, including moral and psychological.”

Israel, Sudan Make 'Peace' in Third Arab World Deal Overseen By Donald Trump

  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 the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to 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

  '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.

Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Robert C. O'Brien standing in front of a curtain: US President Donald Trump speaks to the leaders of Sudan and Israel as he announces that Sudan will normalize relations with Israel at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2020. - © ALEX EDELMAN, AFP via Getty Images US President Donald Trump speaks to the leaders of Sudan and Israel as he announces that Sudan will normalize relations with Israel at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2020. - "Sudan and Israel have agreed to the normalization of relations -- another major step toward building peace in the Middle East with another nation joining the Abraham Accords," Trump said.

Last month, Sudan's ambassador to the United States, Nureldin Satti, 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: Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation

Cementing Israel's New Ties in Arab World Is Essential for Future | Opinion .
The foundation for Israel's new friendships are being built. Now, the countries need to fill the new edifice with economic, cultural and, eventually, defense ties. Some of those ties are being pushed by Washington, but in the wake of the U.S. election, it is important that these new friendships grow on their own accord. Collective focus from Israeli, Emirati and other regional leaders, businessmen and civil society organizations can help make that happen.Seth J.

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