ראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוק
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Photo: Reuters
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok

Sudan premier ready for Israel ties if parliament approves, sources say

Move would not be imminent as parliament is yet to be formed; subject remains sensitive in Sudan, which used to be among Israel's hardline Arab foes under autocrat Omar al-Bashir

Reuters |
Published: 10.22.20 , 19:17
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is ready to proceed with normalizing relations with Israel once a yet-to-be-formed transitional parliament has approved the step, two Sudanese government sources told Reuters on Thursday.
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  • The comments are the clearest sign that Hamdok, under pressure from the United States, is willing to contemplate Sudan establishing ties with former adversary Israel.
    ראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוקראש ממשלת סודן עבדאללה חמדוק
    Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Such a move would not be imminent, because the council still needs to be established under a power-sharing deal between the military officers and civilians who have been running Sudan jointly since the overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
    It is unclear when the assembly will be formed. There was no immediate response from the government to requests for comment.
    Hamdok's technocratic government has so far rebuffed U.S. advances aimed at pushing Sudan to follow the lead of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, both of which signed agreements to establish formal ties with Israel at the White House last month.
    In contrast, military figures leading Sudan's political transition have appeared open to normalizing ties, although civilian groups including left-wing and Islamist politicians are more reluctant.
    "The prime minister will proceed in the steps taken by Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to establish ties with Israel if the legislative council, after it is formed, approves the decision to normalize ties," a senior source said.
    יו"ר מועצת הריבונות של סודן, עבד אל-פתאח אל-בורהאןיו"ר מועצת הריבונות של סודן, עבד אל-פתאח אל-בורהאן
    Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The subject is sensitive in Sudan, which used to be among the hardline Arab foes of Israel.
    Khartoum's caution reflects concerns that such a major foreign policy move at a time of deep economic crisis could upset the delicate balance between military and civilian factions, and even put the government at risk, two senior Sudanese government sources said.
    But an agreement between Sudan and Israel may have edged closer on Monday when U.S. President Donald Trump signaled that Washington would remove Khartoum from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, hindering Sudan's ability to get debt relief.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with Hamdok on Thursday "applauded his efforts to date to improve Sudans relationship with Israel and expressed hope that they would continue," the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

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