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Israel, Sudan agree to normalization as U.S. to delist Sudan from terrorism sponsors

(Xinhua)    10:50, October 24, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a joint press conference in the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Jan. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The U.S.-brokered deal made Sudan, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the third Arab state to recognize Israel in the past two months.

Israel and Sudan on Friday agreed to normalize relations as U.S. President Donald Trump informed Congress to remove Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

"The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations," according to a joint statement by the United States, Israel and Sudan.

The statement said that the leaders agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture.

"This move will improve regional security and unlock new opportunities for the people of Sudan, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa," the statement added.

In a three-way phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Trump called the deal a "peace agreement," saying more Arab countries would follow suit.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok addresses a press conference at the Khartoum airport upon return from Washington on Dec. 8, 2019. (Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir)

U.S. media reported that the Trump administration is touting its foreign policy achievement before the election day, which is less than two weeks away.

The announcement came shortly after Trump's notice to Congress earlier in the day that he intends to formally remove Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

The White House said in a Friday statement that Sudan had transferred 335 million U.S. dollars into an escrow account for U.S. victims and families of terror.

The statement expected Congress "to act now to pass the legislation required to ensure that the American people rapidly realize the full benefits of this policy breakthrough."

The United States listed Sudan as one of the countries sponsoring terrorism in 1993. Since the ouster of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, the pace of rapprochement between Khartoum and Washington has been accelerating despite many outstanding issues.

The U.S.-brokered deal made Sudan, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the third Arab state to recognize Israel in the past two months.

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(Web editor: Liu Ning, Bianji)

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