Friday’s announcement of Israel and Sudan’s plan to normalize ties is “expanding the circle of peace” between Israel and its neighbors, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
An Israeli delegation will leave for Sudan in the coming days to complete the agreements.
“After 25 years without peace agreements, we achieved three peace agreements in six weeks,” said Netanyahu.
The difference is that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two Gulf states that recently signed the Abraham Accords with Israel, never waged war against Israel.
In contrast, the Muslim African nation of Sudan “was an enemy country. It participated in war against Israel,” Netanyahu pointed out.
Until 2012, for example, Iran used Sudan for smuggling weapons to Hamas in Gaza. As part of the Israeli deal, Sudan has agreed to compensate American terror victims and the United States has removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
That makes the agreement especially noteworthy.
Netanyahu thanked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for hosting a summit meeting between him and the chairman of the Sudan Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, eight months ago.
He also thanked Sudanese diplomat Najwa Abbas Gadaeldam, who recently passed away from Covid-19, for her efforts, as well as al-Burhan, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and US President Trump and his diplomatic team.
“The agreement to normalize ties with Sudan brings another Arab nation into the circle of countries choosing peace, progress and prosperity over hostility, hatred and conflict. This step will serve to strengthen stability throughout the Middle East. I congratulate President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Sudanese leadership on this breakthrough,” said Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel Isaac Herzog.
Earlier this year, Sudan agreed to allow planes originating from Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport to fly over Sudan, significantly shortening the route to African and South American destinations.
On Thursday, Israeli organization Chess4All arranged an online tournament in which some 400 professional and amateur chess players from Israel and Sudan participated over Zoom.
Haim Koren, who served as Israel’s first ambassador to the Sudan breakaway country of South Sudan, told reporters: “It is very symbolic that a country that was so hostile to Israel, after so many years is joining a group of countries that used to be enemies in making a relationship with Israel.”
He predicted there will be agreements to allow Sudanese workers or asylum seekers in Israel to safely repatriate, and that Israel will bring investment and knowhow in agricultural technologies, solar energy and other forms of clean energy.