Pompeo says U.S. is ‘working to get every nation to recognize Israel,’ hints Sudan could be next

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.

“I don’t know the precise timing, but we have begun the process to lift the designation of state sponsorship of terror,” Pompeo said. “It’s the right thing to do. There’s been a lot of work done on this over the course of the first three years of the administration. We believe there’s a firm legal basis for doing that and we think that there will be enormous bipartisan consensus that that’s the right thing to do.”

Pompeo visited the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in August, where he flew on the first-ever direct flight from Israel to Sudan. Khartoum recognizing Israel would be historic, mainly because it was the site of the infamous Khartoum resolution, where the Arab states signed an anti-normalization deal and declared that they wouldn’t negotiate, recognize, or make peace with Israel.

“We also are continuing to work to get every nation to recognize Israel, the rightful Jewish homeland and to acknowledge their basic, fundamental right to exist as a country,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday. “That certainly includes Sudan and we are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision. We hope that they’ll do that, we hope that they’ll do that quickly. We hope every country will do that quickly.”