President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to announce that Israel and Sudan have entered into an agreement, a development that he called a “huge win,” adding that “more will follow.”
In the tweet, Trump shared screenshots of the text of the agreement, which announced the normalization of relations between the two countries.
HUGE win today for the United States and for peace in the world. Sudan has agreed to a peace and normalization 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! pic.twitter.com/UHB8H6oaZc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2020
Sudan, in East Africa, was designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” in 1993, joining only Iran, North Korea and Syria as nations to have been given that designation. As such, that meant the nation was subject to harsh sanctions, including a ban on defense exports and sales and restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance.
However, its dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown in a military coup in April 2019 after having been in power for three decades.
Since then, as the agreement noted, the country’s transitional government has taken steps to put its terrorist past behind them, such as becoming more democratic and building relationships with its neighbors.
That was enough to compel Trump to remove the country’s terrorism designation, in turn paving the way for its normalization of relations with Israel. However, as CNN reported, it’s unclear if the deal means the two countries will establish full diplomatic relations.
The agreement lays out something of a roadmap for the future of Sudan, which will include debt forgiveness, efforts at combating terrorism, and investments in agriculture and food security for the Sudanese people.
Sudan’s end of the deal includes transferring $335 million into an escrow account for victims of Sudanese terrorism. The funds will go to help survivors and victims’ families of the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, as well as the family of USAID employee John Granville, who was murdered in Khartoum in 2008.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that the accord is a turning point in history for the country.
“Today represents a momentous step forward in the United States-Sudan bilateral relationship and marks a pivotal turning point for Sudan, allowing for a new future of collaboration and support for its ongoing and historic democratic transition,” she said.
In the past few weeks, Trump has also made similar foreign policy achievements in the Middle East. As he mentioned in his tweet, recently the administration helped broker normalization agreements between Israel and both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Similarly, Trump has promised that there will be more such deals, although it’s unclear what those are or when they will be announced.