Sudan has revoked the citizenship of former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and some 3,000 other foreign nationals, Arab media sources reported on Wednesday.
The move comes after the United States formally removed Sudan from a blacklist of state-sponsors of terrorism on Monday, less than two months after the African country reportedly agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
The Sudanese transitional authorities, in place since mid-2019 after a revolution that ousted longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir from power, welcomed this decision which should end nearly three decades of isolation and raise hopes of better economic conditions.
On October 23, President Donald Trump announced his decision to remove Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism after Khartoum reportedly agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
The United States imposed the sanctions in 1993 after accusing Omar al-Bashir of having relations with “terrorist organizations,” in particular the al-Qaida network, whose leader Osama bin Laden sought refuge.
Mashaal, 64, stepped down as Hamas chief in 2017, and has been living in exile for over three decades in numerous Arab states including Jordan and Syria for fear of Israeli assassination.
In late 2019 it was reported that he was mulling a political comeback. The bid was said to be supported by Qatar, where he resides, and Turkey, which offers top Hamas officials a safe haven in Istanbul.