Sudan’s Hamdok says normalization with Israel requires societal dialogue

Sudan's prime minister Abdalla Hamdok. (REUTERS)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Sudan’s Hamdok says normalization with Israel requires societal dialogue

  • Sudan’s surging inflation and plummeting currency have been the biggest challenges to Hamdok’s transitional administration
  • Normalization with Israel is perceived as a new condition for the country’s removal from the terror list

KHARTOUM: Sudan does not want to link its removal from a US terrorism list that is hindering access to foreign funding for the country’s economy with a normalization of relations with Israel, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday.

The normalization with Israel is perceived as a new condition for the country’s removal from the terror list, according to local daily Sudan Tribune

Sources told Reuters this week that US officials indicated in talks with a Sudanese delegation they wanted Khartoum to follow the UAE and Bahrain and open ties with Israel.
Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to its toppled ruler Omar Bashir, and makes it difficult for its new transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing. Hamdok said Sudan had told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit last month it was necessary to separate the removal from the US list from the normalization of relations with Israel.
“This topic (ties to Israel) needs a deep discussion of the society,” he told a conference in Khartoum to discuss economic reforms. The Sudanese prime minister stressed that a successful transition requires a consensus on all core issues without imposing an opinion.
Sudan’s surging inflation and plummeting currency have been the biggest challenges to Hamdok’s transitional administration.

Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, meanwhile said removing Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism was a priority for the transitional government.

“(Removing Sudan’s name) will enable us to achieve reintegration in the global community, pump a renewable spirit in the national economy and reconstruct our external relations in a manner that enhances the national interest,” Burhan said in an address during the opening session of the first National Economic Conference in Khartoum on Saturday.

The three-day conference aims to set up a roadmap for economic reform.

The US administration would remove Sudan from the terror list in October, the Sudan Tribune earlier reported.

The Sudanese government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front are also expected to sign a peace agreement in Juba on Oct. 3.

Burhan said the peace deal should enable the Sudanese people to achieve structural economic changes and reform what has been spoiled by the former regime.

Sudan has been in dire economic crisis since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, after losing 75 percent of its oil revenues.

A continued deterioration of the Sudanese pound has led to a significant hike in the prices of basic and essential commodities, which Burhan said the Sudanese people can no longer endure.

(With Reuters)


UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 13 min 44 sec ago

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.