The Trump administration is close to an agreement with Sudan to remove Khartoum from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism and an announcement could be made in coming days, two US officials said on Monday.
The deal could also set in motion steps by Sudan toward establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, one of the officials told Reuters, following similar US-brokered moves in recent weeks by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. But details were still being worked out, the source said.
Rapprochement between Israel and another Arab country would give US President Donald Trump an opportunity to tout a new diplomatic achievement as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3.
Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir, and makes it difficult for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
Many in Sudan see this as undeserved since Bashir was removed last year and Sudan has long cooperated with the United States on counterterrorism.
A key sticking point in US-Sudan talks has been Sudan’s insistence that any announcement of Khartoum’s delisting not be explicitly linked to normalization with Israel. Differences remain between Sudanese political and military officials on how far and how fast to go in warming of relations with Israel.