Donald Trump’s progress in Sudan – WSJ
Congress approved the Sudan Claims Resolution Law this week, and our only complaint is that it has taken so long. The Trump administration has struck a transformative deal with Khartoum, but the prolonged haggling on Capitol Hill has needlessly endangered the fragile Sudanese government.
Sudan’s longtime dictator fell last year, and the transitional government is acting boldly to move forward. A quarter of a century after the country hosted Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the State Department negotiated a deal to restore the country’s sovereign immunity and lift its state sponsor of terrorism. In return, the Sudanese government agreed to normalize its relations with Israel and pay $ 335 million to the victims of the 1998 bombings against the American embassy.
America’s enemies should take note. Sudan has been hostile for decades and responsible for the deaths of Americans. But he agreed to change and negotiated in good faith. It behaves like a normal country and its economy will benefit accordingly. Access to international finance and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will open up new trade avenues for the previously isolated nation.
The opportunity to transform a state that sponsors terrorism into a productive partner does not often present itself, and the Trump administration deserves credit for seizing it. The same goes for most of Congress, where the deal has received bipartisan support. But Senators Chuck Schumer (D., NY) and Robert Menendez (D., NJ) delayed the passage for months, saying the deal was bad for the families of the 9/11 victims. One of the offers they called a compromise included an unrelated gift basket for trial attorneys.
The bill that was eventually passed restores sovereign immunity to Sudan in general, but allows families of 9/11 victims to sue in federal court. The cases could put Sudan on the hook for billions, but they are unlikely to succeed. The law also includes $ 700 million in domestic aid and over $ 200 million in loans.