Sudan has become the third Arab nation, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to normalize ties with the Jewish state of Israel as part of a U.S.-brokered peace agreement, called the Abraham Accords, the White House has announced.
“They are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians can live together, pray together, and dream together, side by side, in harmony, community, and peace,” President Trump said in a statement released by the White House Friday.
According to the statement, Israel and Sudan will begin negotiations in the coming weeks on cooperation agreements in agriculture, economy, trade, aviation, migration issues, and other mutual benefit areas.
After decades of living under a brutal Islamist dictatorship “that supported terrorism, the people of Sudan are in charge and democracy is taking root,” the White House added.
The deal “carries symbolic value for Israel, since Khartoum hosted the famous 1967 Arab League summit in which eight Arab nations approved what became known as the ‘Three Nos’ — no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel,” The Wall Street Journal noted, adding that it will help Sudan revive an economy on the brink of collapse.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom cautiously acknowledged improvements in Sudan’s religious and political atmosphere after the commission’s Chair, Tony Perkins, visited Sudan in February.
“We are grateful to Prime Minister Hamdok and other members of the country’s bold transitional leadership who met with USCIRF to convey their explicit desire to bring a new era of openness and inclusivity to their country that suffered for 30 years under brutal and autocratic religious repression,” he said at the time.
“At the same time, we understand that the country’s challenges are deeply-rooted, and we urge the leadership to move quickly to turn that optimism into tangible and meaningful reforms for all people across Sudan, such as acting to formally repeal Article 126 of the 1991 penal code, which outlaws apostasy,” he added, according to Christian Post.