ראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוכ
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Photo: AFP
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok

Sudan rejects linking removal from U.S. terrorism list with Israel ties

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok says that normalizing relations between Khartoum and Jerusalem require ‘a deep discussion in society'; designation locks African nation out of relief amid economic struggles

Reuters |
Published: 09.26.20 , 19:41
Sudan does not want to link its removal from a U.S. terrorism list that is hindering access to foreign funding for the country's economy with a normalization of relations with Israel, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday.
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  • Sources said this week that U.S. officials indicated in talks with a Sudanese delegation they wanted Khartoum to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and open ties with Israel.
    ראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוכראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוכ
    Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
    (Photo: AFP)
    Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir, and makes it difficult for its new transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
    Hamdok said Sudan had told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit last month it was necessary to separate the removal from the U.S. list from the normalization of relations with Israel.
    "This topic (ties to Israel) needs a deep discussion of the society," he told a conference in Khartoum to discuss economic reforms.
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) greeting Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) in Khartoum US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) greeting Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) in Khartoum
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) greeting Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) in Khartoum
    (Photo: AFP)
    Sudan's surging inflation and plummeting currency have been the biggest challenges to Hamdok's transitional administration, which rules with the military since Bashir's ouster.
    Sudan was put on the U.S. list in 1993 because the United States believed Bashir's regime was supporting militant groups. But many in Sudan consider this is undeserved since Bashir was removed last year and Sudan has long cooperated with the United States on counter-terrorism.
    Sudan leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Sudan leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan
    Sudan leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan
    (Photo: AFP)
    The White House and State Department have declined to comment when asked about the status of negotiations.
    Burhan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a surprise meeting in Uganda earlier this year. Yet opening ties is sensitive, as Sudan was a staunch foe of Israel under Bashir.

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