JERUSALEM, Israel – Sudanese leaders welcomed the United States’ decision to remove the country from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list after Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to American terror victims and their family members.
"This decision will allow us to manage the economy with a better environment and totally new effective mechanism,” said Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok. “Removing Sudan from the terrorist list will open the door widely for Sudan to legitimately return to the international community.”
Many Sudanese hope the deal will bring more investments to their country.
"I am among the Sudanese citizens who feel that it is a very important step to be able to bring companies to invest in Sudan. Most of the international companies couldn't work in Sudan for fear of facing sanctions,” said Hossam Mohy El Din, a resident of Khartoum.
Sudan pledged to compensate victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks were conducted by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terror network while he was living in Sudan.
The move also paves the way for Sudan to normalize ties with Israel. The Trump Administration has made delisting Sudan from the terror blacklist a key incentive for the Sudanese government to normalize relations with Israel.
Although reports have surfaced that Sudan is eager to normalize ties with Israel, the country’s transitional government is divided on the issue and domestic blowback could threaten Sudan’s fragile path to democracy.
The military overthrew Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising in April 2019. Now the country is run by a military-civilian government with elections expected in 2022.
Senior Sudanese military official Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has supported normalization with Israel, but Prime Minister Hamdok has been more hesitant despite heavy pressure from the US and the United Arab Emirates, Axios reports.
However, it appears Hamdok changed his mind after the US promised to take his country off the terror blacklist.
The UAE and Bahrain recently signed diplomatic agreements with Israel, and President Trump says more countries in the Middle East and North Africa will soon normalize ties with the Jewish State.
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