An ease in Israel-Sudan relations: A Trump triumph?

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Recently, Sudan and Israel announced plans to normalise relations, as the détente between Israel and several Arab League nations continues.

In a joint statement, the two countries announced that delegations will meet ‘in the coming weeks’. The Sudanese foreign ministry said that cooperation on trade and migration will be at the top of the agenda.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the arrival of ‘a new era’ of peace in the Arabian Peninsula.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the arrival of ‘a new era’ of peace in the Arabian Peninsula. The hostility faced by Israel from its neighbours was explicitly set out in the 1967 Khartoum Resolution, in which eight Arab heads of state committed to the ‘Three Nos’: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. However, a change in regional priorities as well as growing common concerns about Iran have led to a change of attitudes in recent years.

The agreement with Sudan follows on from similar deals which have been struck with both the UAE and Bahrain in recent weeks. The Israel-Sudan agreement has been fiercely opposed by Palestinians, many of whom feel betrayed by their Arabic neighbours. There had long been a demand that Israel should give up land to establish a Palestinian state before receiving recognition.

‘The Palestinian Presidency stresses its condemnation and its rejection to normalisation of ties with the state of Israeli occupation, which occupies the land of Palestine’, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement.

The agreement has also proved controversial within Sudan.

‘The transitional power… makes steps towards normalisation with the Zionist enmity, breaking with the principles and commitments of Sudan’s ‘Three Nos’’, said the National Consensus Forces Alliance, a leftist coalition with significant political influence in Sudan.

Many also feel that such an agreement should be supported by the transitional Sudanese parliament, which is due to be established following the deposition of President Omar al-Bashir, the former Sudanese dictator who was a fierce supporter of Palestine.

The US-brokered deal was a major foreign policy achievement for US President Donald Trump

The US-brokered deal was a major foreign policy achievement for US President Donald Trump, especially as it came just weeks before the election. His supporters hoped that the agreement would appeal to Christian evangelicals, as well as to Jewish voters in swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania.

In a televised phone-call with Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump asked: ‘Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe?’.

Keen to maintain American support, regardless of the outcome of the election, Netanyahu gave a cautious response: ‘We appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America’.

Image: SpeakerBoehner via Creative Commons

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