After 63 Years, Sudan Moves to Repeal Israel Boycott Law

Sudanese cabinet votes to repeal a 1958 law that forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel.
 By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 7 April, 2021

Jerusalem, 7 April, 2021 (TPS) — Sudan’s cabinet voted on Tuesday to repeal the 1958 law calling for a boycott on the Jewish state, several months after Israel and Sudan announced the normalization of relations, and 63 years after the enactment of the law.

The decision now requires the approval of Sudan’s Sovereign Council.

The law called for a boycott of Israel and Israelis and carried a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and a fine for those who breached it.

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Sudan normalized it ties with Israel in October 2020 as part of a rapprochement with the US and its removal from the “state sponsors of terrorism” blacklist.

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen made a historic visit to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in January as the head of a joint delegation of the Ministry of Intelligence and the National Security Council, which was dispatched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, weeks after Sudan joined the Abraham Accords.

A photo of the meeting was released Tuesday following the Sudanese cabinet’s vote.

Cohen stated that the repeal of the law “is an important and necessary step towards the signing of the peace agreement between the countries.”

“Cooperation between the two countries will help both Israel and Sudan and contribute to the regional security stability that is essential for economic development in the region,” he said.

“Sudan is one of the most important countries in Africa and a peace agreement with it will strengthen our international standing and contribute to the stability and prosperity of the two countries,” he added.

The talks in January dealt with a variety of diplomatic, security and economic issues, and for the first time, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on these issues between the Sudanese Minister of Defense and the Minister of Intelligence.

The collaboration focused on the possibility of Israeli companies establishing infrastructure projects, including desalination facilities and renewable energy, training mainly in the fields of agriculture, and promoting business delegations of Israeli companies to develop these fields.

The establishment of formal relations between the countries has great potential for both in a variety of areas including security, economy, energy, agriculture and water.

Israel’s peace with Sudan was announced just over a month after Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House on September 15, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The UAE was the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.

Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

Morocco joined the Abraham Accords in December.


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