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Sudan sees first fruits of Israel normalization

October 25, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced today that his government is sending $5 million worth of wheat to Sudan days after the two nations moved towards normalizing ties in a deal brokered by the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters)

“We are looking forward to a warm peace and are sending $5 million worth of wheat immediately to our new friends in Sudan,” Netanyahu’s office tweeted.

“Israel will be working closely with the U.S. to assist Sudan’s transition,” it said.

There was no comment from Khartoum on the announcement which would be the first trade-like transaction between the two countries since the 1950s. Sudan still has the Israel Boycott Law adopted in 1958 in effect.

Separately, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent 67,000 tons of wheat to Sudan today to be allocated to mills in Khartoum and other states, Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) said today.

The wheat shipments are part of an agreement reached this week during a visit by a joint US-Israel delegation to Khartoum to iron out details of the deal by which Sudan agrees to normalizing ties with the Jewish state in return for political and economic incentives chiefly removing it from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Sudanese officials told Sudan Tribune that part of the agreement involves $50 million worth of wheat from U.S., UAE & Israel to be dispatched immediately.

Yesterday, the U.S. also announced $81 million in humanitarian assistance to Sudan.

“[T]he day after the Republic of Sudan joined the historic Abraham Accords brokered by President Trump and made peace with the State of Israel, the United States announced $81 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Sudan as they confront ongoing severe challenges related to a deteriorating economy, the global pandemic, and the worst floods in more than a century,” read a statement By Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa.

“This new funding brings U.S. humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan to over $436 million for Fiscal Year 2020, including more than $33 million to support the Sudanese response to COVID-19” he added.

This week the US President Donald Trump moved to rescind Sudan’s terrorism designation and also hosted a conference call with Netanyahu, Chairman of Sudan Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok.

"The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations. In addition, the leaders agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture," a statement issued by the White House said following the call.

"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".

Israel along with the U.S. "also committed to working with their partners to support the people of Sudan in strengthening their democracy, improving food security, countering terrorism and extremism, and tapping into their economic potential".

The Sudanese foreign ministry confirmed the upcoming visit of an Israeli delegation to sign joint cooperation agreements on agriculture, commerce, economy, aviation & immigration.

(ST)