(October 19, 2020 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the United States will remove Sudan from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, paving the way for the African nation to normalize ties with Israel.
“GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!” tweeted Trump.
The push by the Trump administration for official diplomatic ties between Israel and Sudan comes in the wake of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalizing ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords. The Sudanese interim government reportedly has been divided over possibly following along those lines.
Sudan cannot receive foreign aid until it is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, which it has been on since 1993 for allegedly granting refuge and assistance to the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists.
GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2020
The Sudanese military overthrew the 10-year dictatorship of former leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A mixed military-civilian government currently rules the country until possible elections in 2022.
Sudan, an Arab-Muslim-majority country that borders Egypt to the south, has long been viewed as a hostile nation towards the Jewish state. However, the new government, keen on reforming the economy and expand international investment, sees friendlier ties with Israel as a step in improving relations with the United States. Sudan’s western neighbor, Chad, established ties with Israel in 2019, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, also has diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
American courts have ruled that Sudan aided and abetted Al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and on the destroyer USS Cole in 2000. The $335 million would be to compensate the victims of the attacks.
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