Why Peace With Sudan is Important, at Least Symbolically
The African Muslim nation is dirt poor and carries little sway diplomatically. But there is one thing…
It appears that Sudan has succumbed to American pressure to make peace with Israel as part of the African Muslim nation’s quest to revive its image on the international stage.
Talk of warming relations between Israel and Sudan had been rife since February of this year, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly with Sudanese President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. There is much speculation that Sudan could be the next regional country after the UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel.
What can Sudan offer?
While normalization with the UAE and Bahrain holds many benefits for Israel, some might wonder if the same is true of peace with Sudan.
Sure, peace with any Arab (or Arab League) state is important, and being able to fly over Sudan will significantly cut travel times from Israel to other parts of the world. But there are few direct economic benefits, and it’s doubtful many Israelis will see Sudan as a tourism destination.
However, there is one symbolic aspect to peace with Sudan that makes it as notable as deals with bigger fish like the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The Sudanese capital of Khartoum played host to the 1967 Arab League summit held in the wake of the Six Day War.
The resulting resolution called for, among other things, the entirety of the Arab world to remain in a constant state of war with Israel until all “occupied” lands had been liberated.
Specifically, the resolution contains what came to be known as the “Three No’s”:
- No peace with Israel;
- No recognition of Israel; and
- No negotiations with it.
The Khartoum Resolution became the cornerstone of the Arabs’ rejectionist approach to Israel.
For the very state that birthed that resolution to now be seriously considering peace with Israel, even in the absence of a Palestinian state, reflects the dramatic changes that have been reshaping the region over the past several years.