Sudan: Political Parties Divided Over Relations With Israel

Khartoum — Political parties in Sudan are divided about normalisation of relations with Israel. The Sudanese government defends its decision to do so.

Sovereign Council chairperson Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Friday that Sudan will normalise its relations with Israel.

The National Umma Party, the Communist Party of Sudan, the Arab Baath Party, and the Nasserite Baath Party, denounced normalisation of relations with Israel. The Sudanese Congress Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, the National Umma Party faction led by Mubarak El Fadel, the Republican Party, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance support it.

The Democratic Forces Movement (Hagg), which also supports normalisation of the relations with Israel, called on the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers to cancel the Israel Boycott Law of 1958.

Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari said at a press conference yesterday that the transitional government is empowered by the Constitutional Document to conduct foreign policy in the interests of the Sudanese people.

According to Abdelbari, the final normalisation agreement with Israel should, like all treaties with other countries, be approved by parliament. However, if the Legislative Council has not been established when the final normalisation agreement will be signed, the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers can bear the responsibility.

The Minister of Justice denied that normalising the relations with Israel means that Sudan pays a heavy price, or that unjust conditions are imposed on Sudan by the US administration. He described the negotiations as "sincere and respectful, taking into account the interests of all negotiating parties".

The minister of justice emphasised that "there is no such thing as a constant" in Sudan, "because there has never been consensus in the history of Sudan on basic principles". "The historically dominant political elites in this country assume that the principles they believe in should be binding to all people."

Delegations from Sudan and Israel are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks to negotiate agreements for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, trade, economy, aviation, immigration and other issues to further the common interests of the two peoples.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday that Sudan's decision to normalise relations with Israel was driven by "the will to achieve the aspirations of the people and the stability of the country".

The Council of Ministers stated that there is no connection between removing Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and normalisation of relations with Israel.

In a lengthy statement, the Council of Ministers explained how and why the decision to normalise relations with Israel was taken. It states that "Sudan and its people are innocent of the accusation of terrorism". Developing relations with other countries is in the interest of Sudan and the Sudanese, and necessary for the democratic transition.

Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres welcomed normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel. He expressed the hope that enhancing cooperation and economic relations will provide new opportunities for boosting peace and economic prosperity in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

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