Sudan moves to cancel Israel boycott

Sudan

 moved toward repealing its law mandating a boycott of Israel in a cabinet vote on Tuesday.

The cabinet voted to cancel the 1958 law, which forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel, it said in a statement.

The Sudanese decision still needs the approval of a joint meeting of Sudan’s sovereign council and cabinet, which serves as Sudan’s interim legislative body.

The government in Khartoum had also promised Israel it would cancel a law used to imprison migrants who left Sudan and then returned, which would open the opportunity for some of the 6,200 Sudanese migrants in Israel to return.

Sudan was the third of four countries to join the 

Abraham Accords

, the normalization and peace agreements between Israel and several Arab and Muslim states negotiated by US president Donald Trump’s administration last year.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen, who led a recent Israeli delegation to Sudan, welcomed Khartoum’s move.

“This is an important and necessary step toward signing a peace agreement between the countries,” he said. “Cooperation between the countries will help Israel and Sudan and contribute to regional security and stability.”

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Cohen visited Khartoum in January, where he and Sudanese Defense Minister Yassin Ibrahim Yassin signed a memorandum of understanding on “diplomatic, security and economic matters,” Cohen’s spokesman said.

Cohen also met with the transitional head of state, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan.

Sudan’s current, transitional government came after longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir was toppled in 2019, and it seeks to shift the country toward democracy.

Khartoum had sent troops to fight Israel in the War of Independence and the Six Day War. In 1967, after the Six Day War, it hosted an Arab League summit that issued the Khartoum Resolution, known as “Three Nos”: No peace with Israel; no recognition of Israel; no negotiations with Israel.

Sudan hosted al-Qaeda and served as a way station for Iran to smuggle arms to Hamas in recent decades. Last year, the US removed Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Getting off the US blacklist has opened Khartoum to more foreign investments and cooperation, which it hopes will rehabilitate its economy.


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