Washington (QNN)- US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the occupation state and Sudan’s transitional council have opened economic ties as a pathway toward normalized relations, making Sudan the third Arab state to formally set aside hostilities in recent weeks.
Trump made the announcement from the Oval Office while joined on the phone by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Chairman of the transitional military Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
According to a joint statement the leaders of Sudan and Israel “agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations” and “agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture.”
“The leaders also agreed that delegations will meet in the coming weeks to negotiate agreements of cooperation in those areas as well as in agriculture technology, aviation, migration issues and other areas for the benefit of the two peoples. The leaders also resolved to work together to build a better future and advance the cause of peace in the region,” the joint statement said.
Sudan’s acting foreign minister, Omar Gamareldin, told state TV on Friday that the country’s legislative council must still approve the normalization agreement.
“This is an agreement to normalize; it is not yet normalization. We must wait for Sudan’s democratic institutions to be functional, including the legislative council, so we can complete the ratification of this step so it can become, in reality, normalization. The government cannot unilaterally complete the process of normalization because the government is the Sovereign Council, the Council of Ministers and the Legislative Council,” said Gamareldin.
Trump and Netanyahu have been pressuring Sudan to start normalizing ties with the occupation state. The deal follows Trump’s conditional agreement this week to remove the North African nation from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it pays compensation to American victims of “terror attacks”.
Speaking in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Wasel Abu Youssef said Sudan’s decision to normalise relations with Israel was a “new stab in the back” for the Palestinians.
“Sudan’s joining others who normalised 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,” Abu Youssef said.
In the besieged Gaza Strip, Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for, Hamas, a traditional ally of Sudan, told the Reuters news agency the decision was a step in the “wrong direction”.
Sudan hosted a Hamas headquarters in Khartoum for years and maintained a military and political alliance with Iran and Hezbollah. Sudan has been a base for arms smuggling to the resistance in the Gaza Strip.
Between 2008 and 2014, the occupation state launched a series of airstrikes against an Iranian weapons ship docked in Port Sudan and the missile factory in Khartoum.
After Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was toppled in a revolution last year, the talks with the occupation state became more substantive as part of an effort by the country’s transitional government to warm relations with the Trump administration.