After agreeing to normalize ties, Israel to send $5 million of wheat to Sudan

This combination of pictures created on October 24, 2020 shows (L to R) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudan's Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk. (AFP)

Israel will send $5 million worth of wheat to Sudan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Sunday, just days after an announcement that the two countries have agreed to normalize relations.

"We are looking forward to a warm peace and are sending $5 million worth of wheat immediately to our new friends in Sudan," Netanyahu's office said on Twitter.

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Sudan has embarked on a rocky transition under a joint civilian-military administration since the April 2019 ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, but it has struggled with severe economic woes, including a sharp depreciation of the Sudanese pound and skyrocketing consumer prices.

A tripling of the bread price late in 2018 was the initial trigger for street protests against Bashir that led to his ouster.

The northeast African country consumes two million tonnes of wheat annually, according to official figures, relying heavily on imports.

"Israel will be working closely with the USA to assist Sudan's transition," Netanyahu added.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed an accord at the White House last month to normalize ties with the Jewish state, but Sudan carries added symbolism as an Arab nation that has been at war with Israel.

News of the Sudan-Israel normalization came on Friday, shortly after US President Donald Trump declared that Washington was formally moving to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation that strangled Khartoum's economy for decades.

Sudan will be only the fifth Arab country to forge diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

"Soon an Israeli delegation will meet in Sudan with a Sudanese counterpart in order to discuss cooperation in many fields including migration, which we are discussing," Netanyahu said, in remarks at the start of a cabinet meeting Sunday.

"We are expanding the circle of peace. Additional countries will yet join only if we consistently adhere to this policy."

The move to normalize ties has laid bare deep societal splits in Sudan, with some calling it a betrayal and others viewing it as a way to save the sinking economy.

Read more:

Sudan will discuss trade, migration deals with Israel, says foreign ministry

First Israel delegation to visit Sudan to finalize normalization

Netanyahu says peace deals with Arab states ‘changing the map’ of the Middle East

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Last Update: Monday, 26 October 2020 KSA 23:25 - GMT 20:25
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