President Trump’s Middle East peace deals, including the latest Friday between Israel and Sudan, are “unprecedented” for the region, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Saturday.
The president announced the U.S.-brokered deal in the Oval Office Friday, saying there “would be many more peace deals to come in the Middle East.”
Ortagus, appearing on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” said it’s important to put the agreements into context, noting that up until two months ago, it had been 26 years since relations were normalized between an Arab nation and the Jewish state.
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“Now, in just over two months, we have three,” Ortagus told co-host Pete Hegseth, saying there is a “fundamental shift” happening in the region.
She credits Trump’s foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who have changed “the way the United States looked at the Middle East.”
“We have rejected the conventional wisdom that was across both political parties, both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C., where we said we were going to empower the state of Israel and our Arab allies and friends, and we were told by all these decisions that we did that we would make World War III in the Middle East, and instead, we now have three Arab-Israeli peace agreements,” Ortagus said.
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She said Arab countries for years said they would not negotiate with Israel until a deal was first made with the Palestinians.
“They also have looked at the state of Israel and said this is an economic powerhouse, this is a country without oil, without some of the natural resources that their neighbors have, yet with a strong economy, really strong in technology and military systems, so these countries have decided that they are better off openly partnering together, especially against the Islamic Republic of Iran, our enemy,” she said.
When Trump laid out his vision for peace in the Middle East in February, he said he hopes to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace brokered, which he touched on Friday.
“Palestinians, they’re wanting to do something. “I’m sure that will get done, too,” the president said.
The growing number of Arab countries formalizing relations with Israel, which also includes the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, has been condemned by the Palestinians, who are seeking a two-state solution. Egypt and Jordan had been the only two Arab nations to officially recognize Israel.
Ortagus called the recent events a “drastic change” for the Middle East, and especially Sudan.
Friday’s deal, which would deepen Sudan’s engagement with the West, follows Trump’s conditional agreement this week to remove the north African nation from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it pays compensation to American victims of terror attacks.
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Pompeo said in a ceremony announcing the deal that victims of terror would receive $335 million in compensation from Sudan.
The money is meant for victims of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by the al-Qaida network while its leader, Osama bin Laden, was living in Sudan. Trump said on Tuesday that once the funds were transferred, he would remove Sudan from the list.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.