Thu, 17 Dec 2020 - 10:51 GMT
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin answers questions during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
CAIRO – 17 December 2020: Anonymous sources told Bloomberg that U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin plans a trip to the Middle East that includes Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Qatar.
The trip is intended to take place in the first week of January to be Mnuchin's last overseas visit while in office as the new U.S. administration will take charge later in the same month.
The latest visit by Mnuchin to the region was held in October as he has been to Bahrain, UAE, and Israel amid normalization of relations between the two Arab countries on one hand and the Hebrew state on the other hand.
Sudan and Morocco also normalized relations with Israel in October and December, respectively. In that context, Senior Advisor to the U.S. president Jared Kushner will board the first commercial flight from Israel to Morocco on December 22, as reported by Bloomberg.
It is noteworthy to mention that the United States recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara on December 12. It also ended on December 14 the listing of Sudan as sponsor of terrorism, which began in 1993 as a consequence of hosting a number of Islamist militant groups and late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as reported by BBC.
That was under overthrown President Omar al-Bashir in the aftermath of the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York on February 26, 1993.
In October, Sudan approved paying $335 million in compensation to U.S. victims of terror attacks, and normalized relations with Israel. In 1998, Al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing 220 individuals.