Israel and Sudan have agreed to take steps to normalise relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States.
US President Donald Trump, seeking re-election on 3 November, sealed the agreement in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, senior US officials said.
Mr Trump’s decision earlier this week to remove Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism paved the way for the deal with Israel.
“The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations,” according to a joint statement issued by the three countries.
Israel and Sudan plan to begin by opening economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture, the joint statement said.
A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said such issues as formal establishment of diplomatic ties would be resolved later.
Mr Trump announced on Monday he would take Sudan off the terrorism list once it had deposited $469 million it had pledged to pay in compensation.
Sudan has since placed the funds in a special escrow account for victims of attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir and has made it difficult for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
Many in Sudan say the designation, imposed in 1993 because the US believed Bashir was supporting militant groups, has become outdated since he was removed last year.