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Sudan rejects US request to normalize ties with Israel

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Sudan's transitional government Tuesday rejected the US request to normalize its ties with Israel.

The decision comes as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a rare visit to Sudan Tuesday, meeting Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the head of the Sovereign Council, Abdul Fatah Alburahn.

Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih explained in a press release sent to Anadolu Agency that the transitional government in Sudan has no mandate to decide on relations with Israel.

"About the US request to normalize ties with Israel, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has explained to the American minister that the current transitional government has no mandate to decide on the issues out of its transitional agenda that related to the democratic transformation, peace process and the holding of elections in 2022," the statement stressed.

It further said that Hamdok has urged the American official not to link the delisting of Sudan from the US terror list with the normalization of ties with Israel.

The statement said Hamdok and Pompeo also discussed the transition of Sudan and stability and civilian protection in Darfur and other conflict areas in Sudan.

Sudan Tribune

According to Sudan Tribune, hours before the arrival of the U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to the Sudanese capital, Hamdok Convened a meeting with the leadership body of the ruling coalition Forces for Freedom and Change Central Council to discuss the normalization with Israel.

Several sources told Sudan Tribune that said the coalition members were divided on the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.

As the National Umma Party, and Arab nationalist groups voiced their opposition to the move, it was agreed to recall that Hamdok government has a limited mandate to achieve democratic reforms and peace.

"The meeting reiterated the (FFC)'s position on the normalization with Israel, considering the government of the transitional period which governed by the constitutional document, has no mandate on this issue," read a statement issued by the FFC after the meeting.

"The meeting emphasized the right of the Palestinian people to their land and the right to a free and dignified life," further said the large coalition with encompasses right, centre and left political forces.

The FFC had adopted a similar position after the meeting of the head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 3 February 2020.

U.S. Bid Hits Snag in Sudan

The FCC statement is an apparent setback for one of Pompeo's aims in his visit to Sudan, a landmark trip highlighting rapidly warming ties between Washington and the North African state that once hosted Osama bin Laden and other militants, according to Bloomberg news. The U.S. has listed Sudan as a terrorism sponsor since 1993.

Pompeo and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok agreed that the "rescission of Sudan's state sponsor of terrorism designation remains a critical bilateral priority for both countries" and discussed "positive developments in the Sudan-Israel relationship," said the secretary of state's spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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