During Wednesday’s State Department press briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo teased that Sudan could be the next country to sign a deal to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. Pompeo also revealed that the U.S. is moving to lift the state sponsorship of terror designation still imposed against Sudan.
The Trump administration recently brokered similar deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel, dubbed “The Abraham Accords.” The two gulf countries signed deals with Israel at the White House last month, signaling a “new era of Middle East Peace.” A delegation from Sudan was reportedly in attendance at the signing ceremony.
The delegation of US and Israeli officials flew together on an El Al Israeli Airlines commercial jet whose special flight number was “973” — the international dialing code of Bahrain.
Israel and Bahrain will establish full diplomatic relations, open embassies and exchange ambassadors.
Both countries will not engage in any hostile actions against one another and will act to prevent those actions on their territories by third parties.
Both countries will commit to co-existence and to educating for peace.
Israel and Bahrain will sign agreements on: finance and investments, civil aviation, tourism, trade, science and technology, telecommunication, health care, agriculture, water, energy and legal cooperation.
JERUSALEM, Israel – Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief blasted the Palestinian leadership for their foreign policy “failures” and outright rejection of the UAE-Israel peace deal in a scathing 40-minute interview that aired on Saudi television Monday.
“This low level of discourse is not what we expect from officials who seek to gain global support for their cause. Their transgression against the Gulf States’ leadership with this reprehensible discourse is entirely unacceptable,” former intel chief and US ambassador Bandar bin Sultan told Al-Arabiya TV.
Palestinian leaders strongly condemned Israel’s normalization with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and warned other Arab states against formalizing ties with Israel. Bin Sultan accused the Palestinians of undermining their cause by missing critical opportunities to make forge ties with Israel and form their own independent state.
Iran like Turkey consistently supports Azerbaijan, the fourth Shiite Islamic majority nation in the world, while refraining from roundly condemning Christian Armenia, at a time that the two Caucasian nations are locked in fierce combat over the Nagorno Karabakh enclave. The fighting this week escalated to reciprocal attacks on their major cities.
Iran, whose supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an ethnic Azeri, is home to four Azeri-speaking northwestern provinces, to which some separatist extremists refer as “South Azerbaijan.” Encouraging them could spark secessionist movements among Iran’s other minority groups. So while Iranian officials have voiced support for Azerbaijan’s integrity – Nagorno Karabakh was internationally recognized as part of its territory although the majority of it population are Armenian Christians – they did not echo Azeri lawmakers in Tehran, who this week accused Armenia of forming “an evil Islamophobic trio in the region” with Israel and the United States. Condemning Armenia as the aggressor would present Tehran with another problem: its clandestine supply of arms to Azerbaijan’s enemy. Video footage of Iranian arms trucks in Karabakh last April evoked strong denials in Tehran as being “utterly false,” after raising hackles in Baku. In the current outbreak, Iran was accused of allowing the transit of Russian arms to Armenia through its East Azerbaijan Province. This prompted another denial. Iran and Armenia are moreover long trade partners, and Tehran looks after important Armenian churches in the Azeri northwest.
Caught in the middle, Tehran has not surprisingly joined US, Russian and French calls for a ceasefire in the hostilities which erupted last month.
Those hostilities intensified this week, Nagorno-Karabakh claimed to have destroyed Azerbaijan’s military airport in Ganja, a city of 300,000 after its own town of Stepanakert was hit by enemy missiles. Both reported heavy casualties including many civilians.
Turkey had no qualms about accusing Armenia of “targeting civilians” in Ganja, after reportedly sending fighters from its Syrian proxy rebel groups to fight for Azerbaijan. Over and above Erdogan’s Islamic leadership pretentions, his stake in the former Soviet republic is substantial, two pipelines run from Baku’s oilfields into Turkey for re-export to Europe. It is also Ankara’s only supplier of gas.
Russia is a traditional ally of Armenia and maintains a large military base in that country.
Azerbaijan acknowledged using Israel-made drones in the fighting, with “devastating effect.” According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel sold Azerbaijan some $825 million worth of weapons between 2006 and 2019. Those exports included drones, loitering munitions, anti-tank missiles, and a surface-to-air missile system.
Azerbaijan’s ties with Israel are another factor in Tehran’s preference for a truce in the conflict. Iran certainly does not want to see Israel’s influence taking root near its borders.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won’t even meet with pro-Israel Jewish leaders.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Arab neighbors are making peace with Israel even as we speak, so why should she hate on pro Israel
Cortez does not think Israel should exist. She must be defeated. Her anti-Semitic stance should be ridiculed by the Democratic Party and all Americans.Jewish leaders? Why does she get away with it? Because the main stream media is in cahoots with her.
America is a nation founded on religious freedom. I am thankful that we have a President willing to stand up and be counted to promote religious freedom here in America and around the world. Please pray with me today.
Heavenly father we come to you today and we pray not only in this country of America, but around the world that people would be able to worship you as they see fit without fear of retribution from oppressive governments. Lord I thank you for a president and administration that is promoting and lifting up freedom of religion.
Dear Lord I am praying against the blue state governors and mayors who are forcing Christians to make a decision between worshiping you and going to jail or being fined for gathering together. Lord I pray that this religious persecution will stop in the United States of America. We will obey God rather than man.