Sudan’s Hamdok says normalization with Israel requires societal dialogue

Sudan's prime minister Abdalla Hamdok. (REUTERS)
Short Url
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)


Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

Updated 23 October 2020

Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

  • The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed a joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that condemns Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and numerous “provocations” that they maintain are threatening regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “fully rejected the declaration containing baseless accusations and allegations.”
During a trilateral regional summit on Wednesday in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions.
The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations. Greece and Cyprus have signed maritime border agreements with Egypt while dismissing a similar deal that Ankara signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government as “legally invalid.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the declaration attacked Ankara rather than supporting peace and stability in the region. It repeated Turkey’s position that cooperation could only take place with the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in governing and sharing the resources of the ethnically divided island nation.
“We will continue with determination to protect our rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry statement said.
The trilateral summit took place amid high tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders and energy rights.
In late summer, Turkey dispatched a research vessel escorted by warships to conduct seismic research in a part of the Mediterranean Sea that Greece claims as its territory, which prompted the Greek government to deploy its own warships.
Turkey pulled the research ship back to shore for several weeks for maintenance and to allow time for diplomacy but redeployed the Oruc Reis on a new energy exploration mission. A maritime announcement by Turkey says the Oruc Reis and two other ships would continue working in the area until Oct. 27.
Turkey also has had ships prospecting for oil and gas reserves in waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.