US prepares to remove Sudan from list of states supporting terrorism

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Officials have warned that a final decision to remove Sudan from the terrorism list must be approved by the White House.

But President Trump shouldn’t wait for Congress to act.

Six weeks before the election, Mr. Trump cited the warming of relations between once-rival states in the Middle East and North Africa as an example of his administration’s diplomatic prowess. Five other countries are considering formal relations with Israel, the president said on September 15, and officials have said they include Sudan.

“We will sign other countries,” Mr Trump told the White House last week, shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with the deputy ambassador. from Sudan in attendance. “And these are very strong agreements. These are very strong. It really is peace. It is serious peace.

Cementing diplomacy between Israel and Sudan would be a coup for the administration, given their turbulent history.

It was in Khartoum after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war that the Arab League announced its resolution of the “three no’s”, opposing peace, negotiations and recognition of Israel. This was widely recognized among the Arab states until Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made a historic trip to Jerusalem in 1977. Until last week’s agreements, Egypt and Jordan were the only two states. Arabs having formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Sudan was placed on the US list of terrorist sponsor states after officials concluded in 1993 that the government of then leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir was providing refuge and other support to Hezbollah and Palestinian groups. . Only three other countries – Iran, North Korea and Syria – are on the State Department’s list that limits aid from the United States and, indeed, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

But in 2016, after Sudan severed diplomatic ties with Iran, the United States began easing sanctions on Khartoum to reward its cooperation in counterterrorism missions and an end to military attacks on them. Sudanese citizens. The detente was fueled last year by the ouster of Mr. al-Bashir and international efforts to support democracy in the new transitional government.

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