Sudan has signed the Abraham Accords and joined Bahrain, UAE and Morocco in normalizing relations with Israel.
The historic signing took place at the U.S embassy in Khartoum on Wednesday. U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, signed on behalf of Washington, while Sudanese Minister of Justice, Nasereldin Abdelbari, signed on behalf of his country.
The Abraham Accords are a series of US-brokered agreements calling for the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and now, Sudan, to normalize relations with Israel after decades of broken ties.
The deal was signed less than a month after Washington removed Khartoum from its “state sponsors of terrorism” blacklist, following Sudan’s agreement to normalize ties with Israel in October. Khartoum’s government had said at the time that a final decision would rest with a transitional parliament, which is yet to be formed.
Sudanese representative Nasereldin Abdelbari expressed the desire to “work in the near future to strengthen and expand these relations.” He welcomed the move saying,
“We welcome the great closeness between Israel and other neighboring countries in the region, as well as the start of diplomatic relations.”
Steven Munchin said it was “a great honor to be here with you today, and I think this will have a tremendous impact on the people of Israel and the people of Sudan as they continue to work together on cultural and economic opportunities.”
The U.S. embassy in Khartoum congratulated Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government on signing the deal.
“The agreement allows Sudan, Israel and other signers of the Abraham Accords to build mutual trust and increase cooperation in the region,” the embassy said in a tweet.
Sudanese economist Waleed El-Noor says Sudan will benefit from signing the Abraham Accords and the U.S. bridge loan as it will allow it to enter the international banking system and relieve the sovereign debt. It will also allow Sudan to secure $1.5 billion loans from the World Bank annually, funds much needed to relieve the overwhelmed Sudanese economy. Sudan will regain access to World Bank loans for the first time in 27 years.
Sudan was put on the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list for giving refuge to Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders in the 1990s.