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Sudan annuls 63-year-old law covering boycott of Israel

Sudanese demonstrators burn an Israeli flag on January 17, 2021 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images]
Sudanese demonstrators burn an Israeli flag on January 17, 2021 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images]

The Sudanese government has brushed aside stiff opposition and annulled a 63-year-old law covering the boycotting of Israel as part of its efforts to establish normal ties with the Zionist state. A bill was finally approved yesterday at a joint meeting of Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council and Cabinet which will annul the 1958 law which prohibited diplomatic and economic ties with Israel.

"A short while ago, in the joint meeting of the Sovereignty Council and the Council of Ministers," wrote Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari on Twitter yesterday, "we approved the draft law on various amendments (adopting the dual financial system), the draft law on partnership between the public and the private sector, the draft investment law, and a bill cancelling the boycott of Israel law."

Abdulbari's announcement was condemned by other Twitter users. "This [1958 boycott] law has been approved by elected bodies," said one. "All laws established by the current coup authorities represent only the people who signed them. We, the Sudanese people, did not vote Nasreddin, Hamdok, or Al-Burhan, so all the decisions and laws they issue represent them only. And betray its people."

READ: Israel frustrated over cold relations with Sudan after 'normalisation'

Another user asked what right the current regime has to abolish the law. The writer pointed out that the 1958 law was adopted by an elected parliament.

US to remove Sudan from terrorism blacklist if normalises ties with Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

US to remove Sudan from terrorism blacklist if normalises ties with Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The law in question prohibited relations with Israel and outlawed business with citizens of Israel as well as business relationships with Israeli companies or companies with Israeli interests. It also prohibited the direct or indirect import of Israeli goods. Those who violated its provisions faced up to 10 years in prison.

Sudan accepted normalisation with Israel last year after pressure from the administration of former US President Donald Trump. The African country agreed to recognise the occupation state in exchange for its removal from the US list of countries that sponsor terrorism, and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to the families of victims of US Embassy bombings in East Africa in 1998. Although not directly responsible for the bombings, Sudan was hosting Osama Bin Laden at the time.

Khartoum remains in a fragile state after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow long-time autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir in April 2019. The country is now ruled by a joint military and civilian government.

In 1967, the Arab League adopted a unified position towards Israel that was known as the Khartoum Declaration. It was famous for containing what became known as the "Three Nos": "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

OPINION: The US empire is extorting Sudan into an unpopular recognition of Israel

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsSudan
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