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14 Dec, 2020 14:15

US removes Sudan from ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ list amid warming Israeli-Arab ties

US removes Sudan from ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ list amid warming Israeli-Arab ties

The US has officially removed Sudan’s classification as a state sponsor of terrorism, 27 years after Washington blacklisted the East African nation over its alleged support for Islamist militants.

President Donald Trump gave Congress a 45-day notice of the decision in October and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now signed a cancellation of Sudan’s designation, the US Embassy in Khartoum said on Monday.

The move, effective from Monday, saw Sudan agreeing to pay $335 million to US victims of terrorist attacks and their families, and follows the country’s normalization of ties with Israel in another Trump-brokered deal.

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In October, it was announced that Sudan would join the deal known as the ‘Abraham Accords’, signed at the White House in September to recognize Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates’ normalized relations with Israel.

Last week, Morocco became the fourth Arab nation to resume ties with the Jewish state since the summer, in a deal Trump hailed as a “massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”

Sudan was initially put on the US state terrorism list in 1993 following the bombing of New York’s World Trade Center, when Sudan harbored Islamist militants and Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

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The $335 million compensation relates to twin Al-Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole warship in 2000 off the coast of Yemen.

After Sudan’s removal, only Iran, North Korea, and Syria remain on the US state sponsors of terrorism list, which bans defense exports and sales, and includes other punishments, such as financial sanctions.

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