Washington: President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Sudan will start to normalise ties with Israel, making it the third Arab state to do so as part of US-brokered deals in the run-up to Election Day. The announcement came after the North African nation agreed to put $335 million in an escrow account to be used to compensate American victims of terror attacks. The attacks include the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by the al-Qaida network while its leader, Osama bin Laden, was living in Sudan. In exchange, Trump notified Congress on Friday of his intent to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. It was a foreign policy achievement for Trump just 11 days before Election Day. Previously, the Trump administration engineered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the first since Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s and Egypt in the 1970s. Trump said at least five other countries want to come into the deal, which is collectively called the Abraham Accords. The new recognitions of Israel unify Arab nations around their common enemy, Iran. They also upend the traditional Arab strategy of refusing to normalize relations with Israel before an independent Palestinian state is created. The Palestinians say the recognitions amount to betrayal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned and rejected the agreement, saying a lasting peace in the region depends on ending the Israeli occupation and creating a Palestinian state. Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior Palestinian official, called the agreement a 'stab in the back' of the Palestinian people and their cause. The Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, also condemned the agreement. Israel said the recognitions signal that the Palestinians have lost their “veto” over regional peace efforts. Trump invited reporters to the Oval Office while still on the phone with Israeli and Sudanese leaders. Trump said Sudan had demonstrated its commitment in battling terrorism. “This is one of the great days in the history of Sudan,” Trump said, adding that Israel and Sudan have been in a state of hostilities for decades, even if they had not been in direct conflict. itor of the daily al-Tayar.
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