On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that yet another Middle Eastern Muslim-majority country will formally recognize the Jewish State of Israel, in yet another massive foreign policy coup for the president’s diplomacy in the Middle East.
“President [Donald Trump] has announced that Sudan and Israel have agreed to the normalization of relations— another major step toward building peace in the Middle East with another nation joining the Abraham Accords,” Judd Deere, deputy assistant to the president and deputy White House press secretary, announced on Twitter.
#BREAKING: President @realDonaldTrump has announced that Sudan and Israel have agreed to the normalization of relations— another major step toward building peace in the Middle East with another nation joining the Abraham Accords 🇸🇩 🇮🇱 🇺🇸
— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) October 23, 2020
The recognition of Israel appears to be part of a broader agreement by which Trump will formally rescind Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Between 1989 and 2019, military dictator Omar al-Bashir controlled the North African country, allegedly engaging in human rights abuses and sponsoring terrorism. After protests in 2018, a coup d’etat ousted Bashir from power in April 2019.
“President Donald J. Trump has informed Congress of his intent to formally rescind Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the White House announced on Friday. “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.”
According to the White House, Trump achieved “the resolution of longstanding claims of victims of the East Africa embassy bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, and the murder of USAID employee John Granville.”
“This is a significant achievement for the President and his Administration and brings a measure of closure to many to whom it has long been out of reach,” the announcement argued.
The White House hailed the agreement as “a pivotal turning point for Sudan, allowing for a new future of collaboration and support for its ongoing and historic democratic transition.” The statement also urged Congress to pass legislation to “ensure that the American people rapidly realize the full benefits of this policy breakthrough.”
The Sudan agreement represents another major foreign policy coup for Trump, following the Abraham Accords.
This summer, Trump announced historic peace deals between Arab states in the Persian Gulf and the State of Israel. In the Abraham Accords, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized relations with Israel. Before the signing, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced they would open their skies to Israeli flights to the UAE. As part of its rapprochement with Israel, the UAE agreed to order hotels to serve Kosher foods in Abu Dhabi, delivering a powerful symbol of Jewish acceptance in a notoriously anti-Semitic part of the world.
Shortly before the Abraham Accords, Trump brought Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia together for a historic agreement that included promises to set up embassies in Jerusalem. This agreement brought reconciliation to two countries with centuries-long animosities that had sparked multiple wars, including World War I.
These historic diplomatic successes have brought Trump multiple Nobel Prize nominations.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.