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Normalization is a sort of surrender to Israel: Sudan’s al-Mahdi says

September 27, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) and former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi said normalization with Israel a sort of surrender that has nothing to do with peace.

The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi (Reuters photo)

"Normalization is a soft name for surrender and has no connection with peace. Now, no Arab country is militarily confronting Israel. The current confrontation is with popular and non-governmental forces," he said.

"As Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer said in their book ’The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy’, these forces give extremists a powerful recruitment tool, broaden the pool of potential terrorists and their sympathizers, and contribute to Islamic radicalism. This is what really happens," he further stressed.

Last week, the head of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Minister of Justice Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari discussed for three days in Abu Dhabi normalization with Israel but failed to strike a deal.

The Sudanese delegation requested approximatively $10 billion during the upcoming three years to deal with the economic crisis and debt relief. Also, they said that normalization should intervene once Sudan is removed from the terror list.

Al-Burhan who is more enthusiastic to the normalization than the Prime Minister Hamdok had already met with Israeli Prime Minister in Uganda last February.

Al-Mahdi who is opposed to the move further recalled that the mandate of the transitional government does not enable it to engage in any initiatives that push the country into controversial positions.

The former prime minister stressed that "the current normalization project has nothing to do with peace, but rather a prelude to an upcoming war with Iran, and improve chances of winning the election for the American president and the prime minister of Israel."

The Sudanese street is divided over the normalization with Israel before a peace agreement is signed with the Palestinians.

Sudanese youth who staged six-month protests that led to the collapse of the Islamist regime are generally favourable to the move.

However, the political components of the ruling Forces for Freedom and Change are divided over the normalization.

The DUP of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the Communist party and some small ban-Arab political forces are opposed to the process.

The remaining political forces including the armed groups that will join the government after the signing of 3 October peace agreement are supportive to the rapprochement.

However, Hamdok who seeks consensus among the political forces says Sudanese should hold more dialogue on the issue to ensure a smooth transition in the country towards a democratic rule.

Previously, he said he had no mandate to engage the process but he accepted to engage discussions on the normalization when he dispatched a delegation to discuss the matter with the American officials in Abu Dhabi.