US allies welcome Israel-Sudan deal, Palestinians cry foul

AFP

24th October, 2020 04:13:59 printer

US allies welcome Israel-Sudan deal, Palestinians cry foul

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.

Here is a sample of the international reaction:

- 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!"

- 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."

- Egypt -

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a close US ally whose country in 1979 became the first Arab state to make peace with Israel, swiftly hailed the agreement.

"I welcome the joint efforts by the United States of America, Sudan and Israel regarding the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel," Sisi said on Twitter.

"I value all efforts aimed at achieving regional stability and peace."

- Palestinians -

Palestinian leaders strongly condemned the deal, echoing their rejection of Israel's normalisation accords with the UAE and Bahrain signed in Washington last month.

"The State of Palestine expressed today its condemnation and rejection of the deal to normalise ties with the Israeli occupation country which usurps Palestinian land," president Mahmoud Abbas's office said in a statement.

"No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause," it said.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said the deal was a "political sin" that benefited only the Israeli premier.

The accord "harms our Palestinian people and their just cause, and even harms the Sudanese national interests," it said in a statement.

"It benefits only (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu."

Israel's agreements with Bahrain and the UAE broke with longstanding Arab policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and were condemned by the Palestinians as a "betrayal".

- UAE -

The United Arab Emirates, which signed a normalisation deal with Israel in September, welcomed Sudan's decision to establish relations too as "historic".

"Sudan's decision to initiate relations with the state of Israel is an important step to enhance security, and prosperity in the region," the official WAM news agency said citing the foreign ministry.

"This acheivement aims to expand the scope of economic, trade, scientific and diplomatic cooperation."

- Bahrain -

Bahrain, which followed the UAE in striking a normalisation deal with Israel, hailed the agreement between Sudan and Israel.

It underlined the kingdom's support for Sudan's efforts "to exercise an active and constructive role in the international community," a foreign ministry statement said.

- 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.


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