Pompeo: US hopes Sudan recognizes Israel soon

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington working to get other countries to recognize Israel as Sudan moved on terror sponsor list.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he hoped Sudan will soon recognize Israel as Washington moved to remove the Arab country as a state sponsor of terrorism.

"We continue to work to make the case to every country to recognize Israel," Pompeo told reporters.

"We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that's in the Sudanese government's best interest to make that sovereign decision. We hope that they'll do that, and we hope that they'll do that quickly," he said.

Pompeo's remarks follow US President Donald Trump's announcement that Sudan would be removed from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in exchange for paying compensation to families of American terror victims.

"GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok wrote in response: “Thank you so much, President Trump! We very much look forward to your official notification to Congress rescinding the designation of Sudan as a state-sponsor of terrorism, which has cost Sudan too much."

“This Tweet and that notification are the strongest support to Sudan’s transition to democracy and to the Sudanese people. As we’re about to get rid of the heaviest legacy of Sudan’s previous, defunct regime, I should reiterate that we are peace-loving people and have never supported terrorism,” he added.

It is believed that Sudan’s de-listing may be a precursor to Sudan normalizing its relations with Israel following the decisions by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to do so.

Last week, intelligence sources said that the United States had given the Sudanese leadership 24 hours to decide on a normalization agreement with Israel.

The Sudanese government was said to have convened last Thursday to decide on the issue, but no decision was reached.

Hamdok said recently that normalizing ties with Israel was a "complicated" issue needing wide debate within society.

Israel and Sudan have had no formal ties in the past. In 2016, the country’s then-Foreign Minister hinted that his country could consider normalizing ties with Israel, but the government was then quick to that his comments were “taken out of context”.

In February, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met the head of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, during a visit to Uganda.

While Netanyahu’s office said after the meeting that the two leaders had agreed to cooperate towards normalizing ties, Sudan's cabinet later said that Burhan had made no promise to Netanyahu of "normalizing ties" between the two countries.