Israel and Sudan to Normalize Ties

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President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida. Photo: John Raoux, AP

(INN)US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Sudan will normalize ties with Israel, becoming the third Arab country to do so in recent months, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

During a call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Sovereign Council president General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and civilian leader and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Trump brought reporters into the Oval Office and announced, “The state of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace.”

“It’s peace in the Middle East without bloodshed,” Trump added.

The President indicated that at least five additional countries want to join in a peace deal with Israel.

Netanyahu told Trump, “We are expanding the circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership. Trump responded by saying, “There are many, many more coming.”

“The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations,” said a subsequent joint statement issued by the three countries.

The statement added that Sudan’s transitional government has “demonstrated its courage and commitment to combating terrorism, building its democratic institutions, and improving its relations with its neighbors.”

As a result, “the United States and Israel agreed to partner with Sudan in its new start and ensure that it is fully integrated into the international community,” it continued.

A signing ceremony is expected to be held at the White House in coming weeks, said officials quoted by Reuters.

Netanyahu in a later statement said the normalization of relations is “an amazing turnabout.”

“Today Khartoum says yes to peace with Israel, yes to recognition of Israel and yes to normalization with Israel,” he added.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after he officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism.

In a statement, the White House Press Secretary noted that Trump “has informed Congress of his intent to formally rescind Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

“This follows on Sudan’s recent agreement to resolve certain claims of United States victims of terror and their families. Yesterday, in fulfillment of that agreement, the transitional government of Sudan transferred $335 million into an escrow account for these victims and their families,” the statement said.

The move to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism had been seen by many as a step towards normalization between Sudan and Israel.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Sudan will soon recognize Israel.

“We continue to work to make the case to every country to recognize Israel,” Pompeo told reporters. “We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision. We hope that they’ll do that, and we hope that they’ll do that quickly.”

The Sudanese government was said to have convened last Thursday to decide on the issue, but no decision was reached.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)