Sudan says it will discuss trade, migration with Israel

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry says it will hold meetings with Israeli officials in the coming weeks to discuss a package of cooperation deals

CAIRO — Sudanese and Israeli officials will meet in the coming weeks to discuss a package of cooperation deals to “achieve the mutual interests of the two peoples,” Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted Sunday saying that Israel was “sending $5 million worth of wheat immediately to our new friends” in Sudan.

The normalization deal came with another pledge by Trump to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. The U.S. has linked de-listing Sudan to the deal to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

Both deals would open the door for Sudan to get international loans and aid, which it needs to revive its battered economy and rescue its transition to democracy. A popular uprising last year led the military to overthrow the longtime autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the U.S. would also work with its international partners to relieve the country’s foreign debt, which exceeds $60 billion. Both the U.S. and Israel would also help Sudan “consolidate its democracy, enhance food security .. and fight terrorism,” it said.

Sudan has agreed to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement as a terrorist organization, something that Israel has long sought from its neighbors and others in the international community, a senior U.S. official said last week.

Hezbollah condemned Sudan’s deal with Israel in a statement Sunday, saying it was made “in return for a miserly and insignificant price,” and would lead to the downfall of the transitional government.

Sudan is the third Arab state to normalize ties with Israel this year, as part of U.S.-brokered deals in the run-up to Election Day, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The Palestinians say the recognitions amount to betrayal.

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Associated Press writer Sarah el-Deeb contributed from Beirut.

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