After Sudan became the third Arab or Muslim country in the past two months and the fifth in modern history to make peace with Israel, U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday to expect about 10 more countries to follow suit after the U.S. elections next week.
“We have five, but really have probably nine or ten that are right in the mix, we’re going to have a lot, I think we’ll have all of them eventually,” Trump said on Tuesday before a campaign event. “The beauty is there’s peace in the Middle East with no money and no blood. There’s no blood all over the sand. We have five definites and I think we’ll have another five pretty much definites. And all of them, the big ones, the smaller ones.”
After Sudan’s announcement on Oct. 23, speculation arose as to who would be next. Oman and Saudi Arabia have been mentioned as the next two countries expected to normalize ties with Israel, but Israel’s Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen said Saudi Arabia will probably wait until after the elections so as to capitalize on the decision with the next president.
Leading up to its announcement of normalizing relations with Israel, Sudan paid $335 million to U.S. terror victims and families. In exchange America removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, which had placed a crippling embargo on the country. Sudan has in recent years worked hard to root out terror groups and recover from decades of war. Bordering the Red Sea, Sudan had served as a pipeline for Iran to supply weapons to Palestinians as well, which is a major reason Israel was keen on a presence in the region.
Sudanese Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, defended his country’s controversial decision saying Sudan could not have waited much longer to be removed from the American terror list.
“If the candidate [Trump] wanted some gains, we also wanted some gains… We are more winners than any other party,” he said. “We were not blackmailed over normalization.”
Burhan said “reconciliation” was “in the interest of Sudan.”
“We are isolated and have suffered from sanctions,” he said. “The removal of our name from the list… will allow us to return to the international community. We will benefit economically and get technology.”
Two days after the announcement Israel said it would send $5 million worth of wheat to Sudan. Other millions of dollars of aid from Israel, the U.S. and the UAE were promised as part of the normalization deal.