Sudan Signs Pact Setting Stage for Normalization With Israel

Sudan signed the so-called Abraham Accords that set the stage for normalizing ties with Israel, a potentially historic step for the North African nation once considered a pariah by the U.S.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Sudanese Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari inked the agreement Wednesday in Khartoum, the capital. Sudan follows the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which joined the U.S.-sponsored pact in mid-September.

It’s the strongest sign yet that Sudan, where long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted amid mass unrest in 2019, is committed to building relations with Israel, even as it faces the prospect of dissent from parts of the civilian protest movement.

The pact “emphasizes the necessity to consolidate tolerance, dialogue and coexistence between different peoples and religions in the Middle East and the world to promote a culture of peace,” Sudan’s cabinet said in a statement announcing the signing.

Sudanese authorities in October agreed in principle to recognizing the Middle Eastern state, shortly after President Donald Trump signaled the U.S. planned to remove Sudan’s 27-year designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. The transitional government, where civilians and military figures share power, subsequently gave mixed signs on the pace of normalization.

No government of Muslim-majority Sudan since independence in 1956 has previously officially recognized Israel. Khartoum was the scene of a 1967 Arab League summit that famously declared the so-called “Three No’s”: no peace, no recognition and no negotiations.

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