Sudan on Wednesday said it signed the Abraham Accords with the U.S., paving the way for the African country to normalize ties with Israel.
The recent U.S.-negotiated deals between Arab countries and Israel have been a major foreign policy achievement by President Donald Trump's administration. The deals were named the Abraham Accords after the biblical patriarch revered by Muslims and Jews.
A statement from the office of Sudan's prime minister said Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari signed the accord Wednesday with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The signing came just over two months after Trump announced that Sudan would start to normalize ties with Israel.
Last month, Trump's administration finalized the removal of Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a key incentive for Khartoum to sign onto an agreement with Israel.
Before Sudan, the Trump administration engineered diplomatic pacts late last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain -- the first since Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s and Egypt in the 1970s. Morocco also established diplomatic ties with Israel last month.
The agreements are all with countries that are geographically distant from Israel and have played a minor role, if any, in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The accords have also contributed to the severe isolation and weakening of the Palestinians by eroding a longstanding Arab consensus that recognition of Israel should only be given in return for concessions in the peace process.
The U.S. and Sudan also agreed Wednesday to settle the Africans country's debt to the World Bank, widely seen as a key step toward the nation's economic recovery after the 2019 overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
The move came during Mnuchin's visit to Khartoum, making him the first senior American official to land there since Trump's administration removed the African country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Mnuchin's visit came after a one-day-visit to Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a close U.S. ally. The stops are part of a flurry of activity during the final days of the Trump administration. Democrat Joe Biden becomes president on Jan. 20.
The U.S. treasury secretary met with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and was scheduled to meet with other Sudanese leaders including Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council.
The visit came "at a time when our bilateral relations are taking historical leaps towards a better future. We're planning to make tangible strides today as our relations enter a #NewEra," Hamdok tweeted.
Mnuchin's one-day visit focused on the country's struggling economy and possible U.S. economic assistance, including debt relief, the statement said. Sudan today has more than $60 billion in foreign debt. Relief from its arrears and access to foreign loans are widely seen as its gateway to economic recovery.
Sudan's Finance Ministry said it inked a "memorandum of understanding" with the U.S. treasury department to facilitate the payment of the country's arrears to the World Bank.