President Trump said Friday that Sudan will normalize ties with Israel, making it the third Arab state to do so as part of US-brokered deals in the runup to Election Day. The deal, which would deepen Sudan's engagement with the West, follows Trump's conditional agreement this week to remove the North African nation from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it pays compensation to American victims of terror attacks. Sudan followed through on its pledge to deliver $335 million, meant for victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by al-Qaeda while its leader, Osama bin Laden, was living in Sudan. It also delivers a foreign policy achievement for Trump, the AP reports, and boosts his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Recently, the US brokered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Trump invited reporters into the Oval Office while he was on the phone with the leaders of Israel and Sudan. Trump said Sudan had demonstrated a commitment to battling terrorism. "This is one of the great days in the history of Sudan," Trump said, adding that Israel and Sudan have been in a state of war for decades. "It is a new world,” Netanyahu said over the phone. "We are cooperating with everyone." Netanyahu has worked to forge ties with formerly hostile countries in Africa and the Arab world in the absence of progress with Palestinians. The deal also is aimed at unifying Arab countries against a common adversary, Iran. The recognitions of Israel have undermined the traditional Arab consensus that there can be no normalization with Israel before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
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