Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said his administration did not want its removal from the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism to be associated with a normalisation of relations with Israel.
Hamdok’s pronouncement comes in the wake of a report that Sudan and the U.S. discussed how Khartoum could advance Arab-Israeli peace. The discussions between the two parties also covered the removal of Sudan from the list.
“This topic needs a deep discussion of the society,” Hamdok told a conference in the capital Khartoum to deliberate economic reforms.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had raised the issue of Sudan establishing ties with Israel during a visit but Hamdok, at the time, told him he had no mandate to do so. Hamdok said Sudan had expressed its wish to have the
Sudan, which was put on the U.S. list in 1993, was a hardline enemy of Israel, under the administration of former president Omar al-Bashir.
A significant number of people in Sudan believe the continued designation is unfair as Bashir removed from office in 2019 and the current administration has collaborated with the U.S. in the fight against terrorism.
Being in the U.S. list, makes it difficult for Sudan’s transitional government to access critically needed debt relief and foreign financing.
The White House and State Department have declined to comment when asked about the status of negotiations, Reuters reported.
In historic moves, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have already normalised ties with Israel in negotiations brokered by the U.S.