US says Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, in new breakthrough for Trump

US says Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, in new breakthrough for Trump
President Donald Trump speaks while on a phone call with leaders of Sudan and Israel in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP)
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Updated 23 October 2020

US says Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, in new breakthrough for Trump

US says Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, in new breakthrough for Trump
  • The deal delivers a foreign policy achievement for Trump just days before the US election
  • He announced the agreement after formally moving to end the nation's designation of a state sponsor of terrorism

WASHINGTON: Sudan on Friday agreed to be the latest Arab nation to recognize Israel, President Donald Trump announced in a new diplomatic coup for him days before US elections.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed an accord at the White House last month to normalize relations with Israel but Sudan is arguably more significant as an Arab nation that has been at war with Israel.
Trump announced the agreement by Sudan's year-old civilian-backed government moments after he formally moved to end the nation's designation of a state sponsor of terrorism, which was a major goal for Khartoum.

Reporters were escorted into the Oval Office where Trump was on speakerphone with Sudan's leadership and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of the embattled Republican president.
"We are expanding their circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership," Netanyahu was heard saying.
Trump said: "There are many, many more coming."
A senior Trump aide, Judd Deere, said that Sudan and Israel "have agreed to the normalization of relations."

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Friday he welcomed joint efforts by Sudan, the United States and Israel to normalise ties between Tel Aviv and Khartoum.
"I welcome the joint efforts of the United States, Sudan and Israel to normalize relations between Sudan and Israel and I value all efforts aimed at establishing regional peace and stability," Sisi said in a tweet. 

As part of the deal to get off the terror blacklist, the White House said that Sudan's transitional government had deposited $335 million to compensate survivors and family members of anti-US attacks that took place when former dictator Omar Al-Bashir welcomed Al-Qaeda.
"Today represents a momentous step forward in the United States-Sudan bilateral relationship and marks a pivotal turning point for Sudan," a White House statement said.
The deal with Sudan allows "for a new future of collaboration and support for its ongoing and historic democratic transition," it said.
Sudan's civilian prime minister, Abdulla Hamdok, thanked Trump on Twitter without mentioning recognition of Israel - a step he had earlier said he was not empowered to take.
"We're working closely with the US administration & Congress to conclude the SSTL removal process in a timely manner," Hamdok said, referring to the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
In Khartoum, a government source said that the call involved Trump, Hamdok, Netanyahu and Sudan's top general, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

Trump had announced his plan to delist Sudan on Monday through Twitter. But in the days before he formally took the move, Israel sent a delegation to Khartoum to discuss normalization.
Trump, who is trailing in the polls ahead of the November 3 vote, has used his leverage over Sudan to press for recognition of Israel.


UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths
Updated 50 min 9 sec ago

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths
  • Dubai Economy issued 2,100 fines and warnings, and closed down 175 businesses in 2020
  • Kuwait records 570 cases, Oman reports 169 cases and 1 death

DUBAI: Authorities in the UAE on Thursday recorded 3,529 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily count to date, and four more deaths related to the disease.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention said the total number of cases in the country has reached 267,258, while the death toll stands at 766. A total of 239,322 patients have recovered from the disease, including 3,901 in the past 24 hours.
Dubai Economy, the emirate’s economic development authority, said it carried out 140,000 inspection visits last year, as a result of which it issued 2,100 fines and warnings, and closed down 175 businesses for failing to comply with precautionary measures designed to slow the spread of the virus.

During their latest daily inspection tours, the authority’s officials ordered one business to close, and issued 23 fines and two warnings for not following the health precautions.
Meanwhile Dubai Municipality announced it has stepped up its inspection campaigns. It added that five businesses were ordered to close, 18 were fined, and warnings were issued to 31 for lack of compliance with precautionary measures.
Dubai Tourism said it has issued more than 200 violation notices during the past three weeks and closed down about 20 establishments. It also announced that all previously issued entertainment permits are “on hold, effective immediately,” and added it will continue to evaluate the situation in consultation with the health authorities.
The General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions in Dubai Police has started to give the coronavirus vaccine to inmates of penal and correctional institutions, as part of the emirate’s efforts to achieve acquired immunity, according to a report by state news agency WAM.

Inmates reportedly said they were happy to be vaccinated and praised Dubai Police and medical staff in the prisons for providing them with the vaccinations, medical advice and check ups.
The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, has launched a campaign to vaccinate people with disabilities, and their families. The effort will begin at the organization’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, before expanding to Al-Ain and Al-Dhafra regions.

Abdullah Abdul Ali Al-Humaidan, the organization’s secretary-general, said that the vaccine is the safest and most effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the health and safety of the public.
Meanwhile, Umm Al-Quwain’s Executive Council informed all government agencies in the emirate that anti-coronavirus measures due to be implemented from Jan. 24 are being amended. The notice said all government employees will be required to take a PCR test every seven days, at their own expense, if they have not received the required two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This also applies to outsourced employees and public-service companies.
The council also urged all government agencies in the emirate to encourage their employees and workers to get the vaccination, which is available to everyone free of charge.
Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 570 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total in the country to 159,834. The death toll remains at 951, with no additional deaths reported in the previous 24 hours.

Oman’s health ministry confirmed 169 new cases and one additional death, bringing the national totals to 132,486 and 1,517, respectively.

In Bahrain the death toll stands at 366 after no new deaths were reported. The number of confirmed cases in the country increased by 305.