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The countries and the United States announced on Friday that Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize their relations and open economic and trade ties. The United States said earlier this week that it would remove Sudan from government supporters on the terror list as part of the deal.
“This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan,” President Trump told the Oval Office, according to a White House pool report. “For decades, Sudan has been at war with Israel. They have been at war and have ignored Israeli goods. No ties.”
Sudan has had an interim government since last year since the military ousted longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir following a popular uprising. As Trump announced earlier this week, the country recently agreed to pay $ 335 million in funds to victims of U.S. terrorism and their families.
“Once the deposit is made, I will raise Sudan from the state supporters of terrorism.” Trump said.
Sudan has been actively seeking to break out of US sanctions tied to the terror list, taking steps such as settling claims related to the bombing of the USS Cole 20 years ago and agreeing to pay for the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Tanzania.
But Sudan was recently a new obstacle to getting out of the terror list, after Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo told the nation that the NPR’s Michael Kelman had said earlier this month that “the Trump administration should sign the Middle East agenda and normalize relations with Israel.”
Trump’s announcement of a payment deal and his promise to raise the anti – terrorist label quickly increased speculation that Sudan would join Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to establish ties with Israel.
Palestinian leaders have long called on Arab countries not to establish relations with Israel until there is mutual peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday condemned the Israeli-Sudan agreement.
As part of the agreements reached this week, the United States will help Sudan repay billions of dollars in international debt.
Trump promised that other countries would also like to establish relations with Israel – perhaps including Iran.
“I was finally able to see Iran – it will happen now, it’s not going to happen, but I see it happening,” the president said.
“In the end, they will all be a cohesive family,” Trump added. “This is going to be a surprise. Probably never happened in the Middle East because the Middle East is known for conflicts and fighting.”
The leaders of the United States, Israel and Sudan “spoke today to discuss Sudan’s historic progress on democracy and the prospects for peace in the region,” the joint statement said on Friday. It says the historic change will improve regional security and open up new opportunities for the people of Sudan and Israel and their neighbors.
Settlement of terrorist compensation claims against Sudan could close the door to a more complicated and painful legal process: in 2018, the Trump administration agreed that the case of the survivors seeking damages against Sudan and the USS Cole survivors should have been sent to the Sudanese embassy in Washington. The The U.S. Supreme Court awarded $ 315 million Last year, Sudan and the US government agreed.