WASHINGTON – In a telephone call Sunday with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Sudan’s commitment to normalizing relations with Israel. The conversation comes two months after Sudan’s cabinet voted to repeal a 1958 law that forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel.
Sudan was one of the Arab countries to sign onto normalization pacts with Israel last year, agreements that the Trump administration facilitated. The Biden administration has praised the initiatives and expressed interest in building on them and bringing in additional countries.
Blinken’s telephone conversation with the Sudanese leader comes several days after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, which supports and seeks to expand the normalization pacts. It requires the formulation of a government-wide strategy to build upon the accords while pushing back against domestic efforts in Arab League countries to discourage further normalized ties.
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The telephone call also comes days before Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s planned visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first country to sign onto the Abraham Accords, last year’s peace agreements that the UAE and Bahrain signed with Israel. Lapid will be the most senior Israeli minister to visit the Emirates.