Sudan bill would end 1958 law boycotting Israel

Sudan’s Council of Ministers on Tuesday approved a bill to cancel a 1958 law mandating a boycott of the nation of Israel.

The 1958 law forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel, with penalties including up to 10 years in jail and large fines for violators. Last October the two nations agreed to normalize relations with each other in a deal brokered by the Trump administration. In exchange for normalization, former president Donald Trump removed Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. More recently Sudan has signed a further normalization agreement with the US.

The short statement released by the Council of Ministers also affirmed “Sudan’s firm position towards the establishment of a Palestinian state within the framework of the two-state solution.” The bill awaits final approval by a joint session of the Council of Ministers and the Sovereign Council, which serve as an interim legislative body for the nation since former president Omar al-Bashir’s government was removed in April 2019.

Israel’s intelligence minister Eli Cohen, who visited Sudan in January, said that the bill “is an important and necessary step toward the signing of a peace accord between the countries.”