Sudan and Israel agreed Friday to normalise relations, in a US-brokered deal to end decades of hostility that was widely welcomed but stirred Palestinian anger. The announcement makes Sudan, technically at war with Israel since its 1948 foundation, the fifth Arab country to forge diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
'HUGE win for United States'
"HUGE win today for the United States and for peace in the world," tweeted US President Donald Trump, who faces a November 3 election in which he is trailing in the polls. "Sudan has agreed to a peace and normalisation agreement with Israel! With the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, that's THREE Arab countries to have done so in only a matter of weeks. More will follow!"
Political sin: Palestinians
Palestinian leaders strongly condemned the deal. "No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause," president Mahmoud Abbas's office said in a statement. The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said the deal was a "political sin" that benefited only the Israeli premier.
Deal secured by ransom: Iran
Iran, which has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and remains on the US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, said Sudan had paid a "shameful" price to be removed from the "phony" blacklist. "Pay enough ransom, close your eyes on the crimes against Palestinians, then you'll be taken off the so-called 'terrorism' blacklist. Obviously the list is as phony as the U.S. fight against terrorism. Shameful!" its foreign ministry said.
Important step: Germany
Germany welcomed the deal as a boost to stability in the Middle East and paid tribute to the US role in brokering it. "Following Israel's normalisation agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, this is another important step towards greater stability and a more peaceful relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbours," the foreign ministry said. "The US has played a crucial role in mediating these agreements, for which it deserves thanks and recognition."
'Historic' deal: UAE, Bahrain
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which signed normalisation deals with Israel in September, welcomed Sudan's decision to establish relations too as "historic" and hoped it will expand the scope of economic, trade, scientific and diplomatic cooperation between the countries.