Up until 2016, Sudan stood as a strong ally of Hezbollah and was under U.S. sanctions since the 1990s for aiding terrorist groups, including harboring al Qaeda’s then-leader, Osama bin Laden.
In a deal, brokered by the U.S. to normalize relations with Israel, Sudan, which is one of Africa’s largest countries, joins “a broader realignment in the Middle East,” ending years of hostilities, to emerge from its international isolation.
As a part of the deal, the African country is set to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization while Washington just agreed to remove Sudan from its list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”
That designation has, up to now, isolated Sudan from receiving financial support from international institutions like the IMF to help it with its collapsing economy.
With that new normalization deal, which was announced by U.S. President Trump on Friday, October 23rd, Sudan will emerge from its isolation and will benefit from aid and investment, especially in technology and agriculture, as well as relieving Sudan from its debts amounting to $60 billion.
The joint statement of the US, Sudan, and Israel stated: “After decades of living under a brutal dictatorship, the people of Sudan are finally taking charge.”
The countries will soon meet to start working on the normalization and “negotiate cooperation agreements in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration, and other critical areas,” according to Trump.
And while neither one of the three countries mentioned Hezbollah in their statements, a senior US official confirmed to Al-Arabiya that Sudan will indeed make the move towards the designation.
Sudan is the third country this week to take a decision against Hezbollah, right after Estonia and Guatemala, and the eighth this year, as the international pressure against the Iran-backed Lebanese group continues to unfurl, along with new sanctions from the United States.