Sudan: Removing the country from US terrorism list isn’t linked to normalization with Israel
Sudan does not want to link its removal from the US terrorism list that is hindering access to foreign funding for the country’s economy with the normalization of relations with Israel, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday.
Sources said this week that US officials indicated in talks with a Sudanese delegation they wanted Khartoum to follow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain and open ties with Israel.
But according to Reuters, Hamdok said at a conference in Khartoum that he had stressed this point to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit last month.
Normalization, he said, required “a deep discussion [in Sudan’s] society.”
US-Sudanese negotiations held in the UAE earlier this week on normalizing relations with Washington and Israel ended Wednesday without a breakthrough, Axios reported.
The head of the Sudanese delegation, General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, told the site that talks were “useful and constructive,” but did not give estimates as to what could be expected going forward.
Hamdok previously said that he is unable to currently normalize ties with Israel, noting that the country’s government is a transitional one. The transition period is slated to end in 2022.
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.
Sudan’s surging inflation and plummeting currency have been the biggest challenges to Hamdok’s transitional administration, which rules with the military since al-Bashir’s removal.