Sudan on Tuesday said it was interested in signing a peace deal with Israel within the next half year, in a move welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sudan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Haidar Badawi Sadiq told Sky News Arabia Sudan “looks forward to a peace agreement with Israel,” and added a peace treaty could be signed before the new year or immediately after it.
“There’s no reason for the enmity to continue,” Sadiq said. “We do not deny the existence of contact between the two countries.”
The news comes after the U.S.-brokered deal normalizing ties between Israel and the UAE was announced last Thursday.
“Both Sudan and Israel will benefit from such an agreement if it is signed, at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” Sadiq added.
Netanyahu echoed those views, saying: “Israel, Sudan and the entire region will benefit from the peace agreement and together they can build a better future for all the peoples of the region.”
“We will do whatever is necessary to turn vision into reality,” he added.
Sadiq also hailed the UAE-Israel agreement as “courageous.”
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said Sudan’s remarks mark a “fundamental change that is taking place these days in the Middle East, and in Sudan in particular, exactly 53 years after the Khartoum Conference in which Sudan opposed recognition and a peace agreement with the State of Israel.”
“I welcome any step that promotes normalization, peace, agreements and recognition between countries,” said Ashkenazi, adding that Israeli diplomats will work on drafting “a peace agreement that respects the interests of both sides.”
The announcement by the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights the fundamental change that is taking place in the Middle East in general, and in Sudan in particular, 53 years after the Khartoum Conference in which Sudan called for no recognition of the State of Israel. pic.twitter.com/xVp2SoPy9P
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) August 18, 2020
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi blasted Sudan over the peace deal decision.
“Where are the living revolutionary people of Sudan?”she said.
In February, Netanyahu secretly met with the leader of the Sudanese transitional government, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Burhan.
Netanyahu said at the time that the two countries were “discussing rapid normalization.” He noted Sudan is “an Arab, or rather a Muslim country, speaking Arabic, that hosted the Khartoum Conference. And in Khartoum they have all the no’s against Israel. Remember the no’s? No recognition, no Israel basically.”
The UAE deal marks the third Arab country to hold diplomatic ties with the Jewish state after Egypt and Jordan. Most of the Arab and Muslim world does not recognize the existence of Israel.