Following the de-listing of Sudan as a terror sponsor, President Trump announced Sudan will normalize relations with Israel. How significant is the agreement?
In a move expected after the recent announcement of removing Sudan from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, President Trump announced a normalization of relations between Israel and Sudan. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sudan is working towards an “improved life for the people of Sudan and we think for the broader region in north Africa.”
- According the Associated Press, efforts to unite Arab nations in formal relations with Israel have the ultimate objective of isolating Iran.
- The historical significance of an Israel-Sudan announcement was explained by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “In Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in 1967 the Arab League adopted its three ‘No’s’: ‘No to peace with Israel, no to recognition of Israel and no to negotiations with Israel.’ But today Khartoum has said, ‘yes to peace with Israel, yes to recognition of Israel and yes to normalization with Israel.”
- During the announcement in the Oval Office, President Trump said “at least five more” Arab nations are interested in joining the United Arab Emirate, Bahrain, and now Sudan in recognizing Israel.
- While Netanyahu called the deal “the start of a new era”, Iran criticized the deal, saying Sudan was being forced to pay a “ransom”. Senior Palestinian leaders called the announcement a “stab in the back” and “betrayal” of the Palestinian people.
- The Washington Post highlighted Netanyahu’s tight lips when Trump asked him if former Vice President Biden could have brokered such a deal, saying Netanyahu “avoided taking the partisan bait.”
- Center-Left thinktank Brookings Institute published an article last month warning that pushing “forward on a bilateral agreement between the two nations could pose long-term problems for the United States and Israel, as it could strain the already-fragile Sudanese regime. –
- Vox offered analysis suggesting the deal is “arguably more significant” than the UAE and Bahrain agreements since Sudan was still technically at war with Israel.
- National Review noted Trump’s remarks that the recent spate of formal relations announcements was seen as an uphill battle, quoting Trump: “Three months ago no one thought this was possible. Even Bibi didn’t know if this was possible.”
- The agreement gives President Trump a foreign policy win with less than two weeks before Americans head to the polls, says the New York Post.
- The Free Beacon reported overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress for the Trump Administration’s efforts to bring Arab nations to the negotiating table in recognition of Israel.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020