In the Middle East, does the road to Washington lead through Jerusalem?

Some eyebrows were raised in Khartoum in the last few weeks as the terms for American aid in the country’s revival after the overthrow of tyrant Omar al-Bashir last year came to light.

Sudan wants to shake off its state sponsor of terrorism designation, which blocks access to foreign funding it needs to keep its new government stable and able to foster democracy, as well as $3 billion in debt relief and investments in its weak economy.

The US would also like Sudan to pay a $335 million settlement for harboring the terrorists who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the USS Cole destroyer in 2000, while Congress would pass a bill giving Khartoum immunity from future legal claims on other past terrorist attacks – including, controversially, 9/11. That legislation is currently tied up in Congress.

And the Trump administration has brought another demand into the mix: for Sudan to fully normalize ties with Israel.

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