Maariv: Israel worried Sudan may back out of normalization deal
Sudan has expressed its “absolute refusal and rejection” of a decision by the African Union Commission to grant Israel observer status, despite signing an agreement last year to normalize ties with the Tel Aviv regime.
The decision "contradicts the efforts and principles of the African Union and undermines the spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and consensus,” the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official news agency SUNA on Friday.
The statement came s the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper reported that Israeli officials are worried that Sudan could gradually withdraw from the normalization agreement.
According to the newspaper, US officials recently met with Sudanese authorities to discuss the details of the normalization agreement, and to prevent Sudan from withdrawing from the accord.
Maariv said Washington has put pressure on Sudanese officials to formally sign the final agreement.
Sudan agreed to normalize ties with Israel in October last year and an Israeli delegation visited Khartoum the following month.
On January 6 this year, Sudan signed the so-called Abraham Accords, normalizing ties with the regime of Israel.
A statement from the office of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok at the time said Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the accord with visiting former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The signing came just over two months after former US president Donald Trump announced that Sudan had agreed to normalize relations with Israeli regime.
But protests against normalization have continued in the African nation.
Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, the second most prominent component of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) political coalition, said in a statement that Sudanese people were not obligated to accept the normalization deal.
Sudan’s former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi also slammed the announcement, adding that he withdrew from a government-organized conference at the time in protest.
Furthermore, Palestinians strongly condemned Sudan’s agreement to normalize relations with the Israeli regime.
The Islamic resistance movement Hamas said in a statement that the move had shocked Palestinians, Arab and Muslim nations, as well as freedom-loving people of the world.
“Sudan, indeed, loses its position as a leading Arab and Muslim country by agreeing to sign such a deal," the statement said.