JERUSALEM, Israel – Just days after the United Arab Emirates announced its historic treaty with Israel, Sudan also expressed interest in signing a peace deal with the Jewish State.
Sudan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Haidar Badawi Sadiq said on Tuesday that his country is conducting peace talks with Israel and there is “no need for the enmity to continue.”
"Israel and Sudan will gain from a peace agreement," Sadiq told Sky News in Arabic. He said the new peace treaty between the UAE and Israel has paved the way for more Arab countries to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
"We look at an agreement of this kind through the interests of Sudan without sacrificing our values and principles,” said Sadiq.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been hinting at relations with Sudan for months. In February, the premier made a historic trip to Khartoum to discuss normalizing ties.
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Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel will welcome a peace treaty with Sudan.
"Israel, Sudan and the entire region will benefit from the peace agreement and will be able – together – to build a better future for all peoples of the region. We will do whatever is necessary to turn vision into reality,” he said.
A Sudanese government official told The Associated Press that Jerusalem and Khartoum have held deliberations in recent months with the help of Egypt, the UAE, and the United States.
“It’s a matter of time. We are finalizing everything. The Emirati move encouraged us and helped calm some voices within the government who were afraid of backlash from the Sudanese public,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Sudan, a Muslim-majority country, is historically Israel’s enemy and went to war against the Jewish State during Israel’s 1948 War for Independence. Sudan also joined Arab armies in fighting against Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Today, the fragile country is working towards establishing democracy after a popular uprising led to the Sudanese military overthrowing former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The country is now ruled by a military-civilian government with elections possible in late 2022.
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi said Sudan’s announcement “highlights the fundamental change that is taking place in the Middle East in general, and in Sudan in particular.”
“In the near future, we will continue discussing improving relations until we are in a position to sign a peace agreement that respects the interests of both countries,” said Ashkenazi.
Palestinian leaders condemned Sudan for seeking peace with Israel.
“Where are the living revolutionary people of Sudan?” asked senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also urged Arab countries not to normalize ties with Israel.
“We consider this a stab in the back and we absolutely reject it,” Abbas said during a meeting with Palestinian leaders Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, many are speculating that Bahrain and Oman will also follow the UAE’s lead and make peace with Israel. On Monday, Oman and Israel said their foreign ministers had spoken and agreed to “maintain direct and continual contact.”
Israel also hopes Saudi Arabia, a sworn enemy of Iran, will agree to relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia has yet to comment on the new UAE peace treaty with Israel, but President Trump’s Senior Advisor, Jared Kushner, said he believes the kingdom will normalize ties with the Jewish State.
“I do think it is an inevitability that Saudi Arabia and Israel will have fully normalized relations and they will be able to do a lot of great things together,” Kushner told CNBC last week.
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