Remarks by President Trump Announcing Normalization of Relations Between Sudan and Israel
Oval Office Washington, DC October 23, 2020 11:34 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: (In progress) ...on the phone, we have some terrific people: Chairman Abdel al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan - a beautiful part of the world; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - I think you mostly know him. You perhaps heard of him somewhere. We have the very highly sophisticated press. I think they may have heard of him, of Israel. So I want to just congratulate all of you.
The State of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace. This is for many, many years they've been at odds, to put it nicely, and to normalize their relations. This will be the third country where we're doing this. And we have many, many more coming. We have - they're coming at us hot and heavy.
In the coming weeks, they will meet to negotiate cooperation agreements. You saw that happen with UAE and Bahrain recently in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration, and other critical areas.
This historic deal comes just a few weeks after the groundbreaking agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. And Israel and the - and Bahrain. That was very historic. That was a great day, a very historic day - Bahrain and United Arab Emirates.
Three months ago, no one thought this would be possible. Even Bibi didn't know if this was going to be possible. Bibi, right? But now multiple Arab countries across co- - continents have made peace with Israel. And again, we have many lined up. They want to come in. They want to get the deal done. They all see it.
No blood in the sand. I say, "No blood." This is one where's there's been no blood in the sand. It was common sense. It should have been done this way a long time ago. It's a very special deal.
For much of recent history, the people of Sudan were ruled over by brutal Islamic dictatorships. It was the home of Osama bin Laden - a place of terror, genocide, and many other tragedies.
Today, a great people of Sudan are in charge. New democracy is taking root, and the two people I have just mentioned are highly respected leaders - highly, highly respected leaders. The Sudanese transitional government has demonstrated its commitment to combatting terrorism, creating market economy, and developing the democratic institution that it's becoming.
Today's deal builds on those commitments and marks a pivotal turning point in Sudan's history. This is, I would say, one of the great days in the history of Sudan.
This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan. For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel - they have been in a state of war - and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever.
Today's peace agreement will enhance Israel's security and end Sudan's long isolation from the world because of what was taking place. It will unlock new opportunities for trade and commerce, education and research, and cooperation and friendship for both peoples.
I want to thank the leaders of Sudan. I want to thank you very much for being with us. And of course, Benjamin, for the incredible work you do constantly. We've had a tremendous relationship. There's never been a relationship where Israel and the United States were so close. And I would say, a few years ago, there's probably never been a time when it was so far apart, so distant - if you want to know the truth.
But this is a tremendous show of faith and courage and leadership which has forged this agreement. The United States stands with all of you and all the nations that seek peace and cooperation.
And again, we will be signing many nations over the next coming weeks and months, including some very big ones. It's very exciting, actually. It's peace in the Middle East without bloodshed.
And the Palestinians, by the way, if you ask about the Palestinians, they're wanting to do something. They have never seen anything like this. They're wanting to do something. I'm sure that will get done too.
So I'd like to congratulate everybody on the phone. And I don't know if you have interpreters or if you needed the interpreters for that, but if you do, you can go forward, interpreters, if you need them.
PRIME MINISTER HAMDOK: Mr. President, I am (inaudible) to speak with you, President Trump, and Prime Minister Netanyahu. This (inaudible) is indeed an indication that - new chapter in our history of Sudan and the rest of the world has just begun.
I would like to start (inaudible) my thanks to President Trump for taking the (inaudible) Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism. This decision (inaudible) more important. It will help Sudan to (inaudible) as a nation that never sponsors the support of terrorism. We very much look forward to (inaudible) to establish a strong political and economic relation between our nations and the rest of the world.
Thank you, President Trump; thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, for the call and congratulations. (Inaudible.) Thank you so much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. That was beautifully stated and I appreciate it.
Bibi, would you like to say something?
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Well, I want to say that we are extending the circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership, Mr. President, your able team. History in the making. Actually, we're all making history - from the Emirates to Bahrain; now with Sudan and other countries that are in line.
I think this truly changes the region. It changes the lives of all our peoples for the better. It allows us to focus the task of building nations, building our future, building technology, agriculture, environment, and health - everything. And I think we can do it better together. And with your help, the help of the United States, the possibilities are infinite.
We used to say, in the Middle East, "The sky is the limit." But now we don't even have that because the skies are limitless. We fly over Sudan. We fly over Saudi Arabia. We fly to - to Bahrain. We fly to Emirates. Everybody flies to us. It's just a new world, and I can't tell you how - how excited we are for cooperating with everyone, cooperating with Sudan to build a future - a better future for both of us.
And it's a glorious day for peace. I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for everything you are doing.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, even the media is very excited about it. I mean, everybody is excited about it. It's an incredible thing. And again, as you know, Bibi, because you're negotiating, talking to people, but they're falling into line. Everybody is going to be involved in this very shortly. I would say - who knows? I can't exactly put a date on it, but within a very few number of months, everybody is going to be in this deal.
And it's the way it should have been done a long time ago. We did it the opposite way - exactly the opposite way. And we took a lot of abuse from the people that were unable to make a deal for 40 years. And this has gone very quickly, very nicely, very inexpensively, and with no blood. So we're very happy about that.
Would anybody else like to say something and then I'll have the press ask? Perhaps they may have a question for you.
Yeah, please go ahead, Prime Minister.
CHAIRMAN BURHAN: Yes, I think - I think the coming agreement will strengthen our relations and serve the interests of local and regional security of peace and stability.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's the Prime Minister.
SECRETARY POMPEO: This is the Chairman, President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: (Inaudible.)
CHAIRMAN BURHAN: (Inaudible) to what is said in this joint statement. Thank you, Mr. President Trump. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu. Mike, thank you for you have stood with us from the beginning (inaudible) this matter.
Thank you for you. And we - our good wishes to Mr. President Trump.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Wow. Thank you very much. Mike Pompeo, would you say something? Secretary of State.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Just this, Mr. President: This is a big day. I want to thank - thank Prime Minister Netan- - Prime Minister Netanyahu, Prime Minister Hamdok, Chairman al-Burhan, for their hard work over the past months to get to a place which will increase peace and prosperity throughout not only the Middle East, but in North Africa. And it's a good thing for the whole world today, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It certainly is. Jared Kushner?
MR. KUSHNER: Thank you, Mr. President. Well, I think that today is another great example of what is possible when you have strong and smart American leadership in the Middle East and throughout the world.
For those who follow the history of this conflict, the significance of this cannot be overstated enough. You have a situation in 1967, after the Six Day War, the Arab League met in Sudan and Khartoum. They had the - the declaration of what was became known as the - the Three No - the Three No's for the Arab League: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations.
Now, today, we have peace. We have the Three Yeses under President Trump: We have peace, we have recognition, and we have negotiation for even more peace.
So this is a tremending [sic] - a tremendous acceleration of the turning point that President Trump has been able to accomplish in the region. And I do really believe that we're seeing this pick up even more and more. We have more countries that are going to be making peace with Israel.
We're very confident that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved as well. And I do think that will allow us to focus on reducing extremism and terrorism, and then also reducing anti-Semitism throughout the world. And both of those cannot be understated enough as big accomplishments.
And I will just say, finally, that if you look at where Sudan was in 2016 versus where they are now, again, you have a President who's not lecturing other countries. But for countries who want to improve their lot and make progress, there's no better partner than America. And that's what you're seeing with Sudan and with the Middle East.