In a deal brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of Sudan’s transitional government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan has agreed to normalize ties with Israel after decades of belligerence between the two states, according to The Guardian.
The Associated Press reports that the agreement is contingent on Sudan’s removal from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The announcement of this deal closely followed Sudan’s agreement to place $335 million in an escrow account for compensation of American victims of terror attacks in Sudan.
According to BBC News, many feel that Sudan agreed to these concessions under duress, as remaining on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list would be disastrous for the Sudanese economy under the already-fragile transitional government. The country’s inclusion on the list has already cost it access to debt relief and international financing. Combined with the consequences of decades of misrule by the recently overthrown Omar al-Bashir, internal conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudan’s place on the list has sent food and fuel prices up dangerously high, according to The Guardian.
The precarious state of the Sudanese economy, which is currently saddled with $60 billion debt, has created an urgent need for loans from international financing agencies like the International Monetary Fund, according to Haaretz. The Sudanese government hopes that signing the agreement will enable the country to finance urgently needed loans and enable multinational organizations to invest and create jobs that will further stimulate the economy.
The Guardian reports that Sudan’s agreement to the deal has great historical significance, as the Khartoum Resolution held in the nation’s capital, issued following the Six-Day War in 1967, famously pledged “three no’s: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel” in solidarity with Palestine.
Netanyahu has stated that the agreement represents a reversal of the Three No’s, according to the Guardian. “Yes to peace with Israel, yes to the recognition of Israel, and yes to normalization with Israel. This is a new era.”
According to The Jerusalem Post, Wasel Abu Yousef, a representative of the Palestinian Liberation Front, stated that Sudan’s agreement to the Abraham Accords along with “others who normalized ties with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.”
The deal was struck just eleven days before election day in the U.S. in what many have speculated is a move by President Trump to appeal to Christian evangelical voters, a group which comprises a critical part of his base, BBC News reports. The president claims that “at least five” other Arab countries have expressed interest in joining Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates in normalizing ties with Israel in what is known collectively as the Abraham Accords, according to the Associated Press.