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Getting to yes: What the press is saying on October 23

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1. Sudone deal, almost: If the announcement of ties with the UAE came like a lightning bolt on a clear day, then normalization with Sudan is swiftly approaching with all the secrecy and subtlety of Shaquille O’Neal trying to hide under a blanket.

  • Days of rampant speculation that a deal is imminent have been capped Friday with yet more speculation that an announcement of an agreement is imminent.
  • “It’s 99 percent done,” reads a headline in Israel Hayom.
  • “An official announcement on the decision is expected to come over the weekend or the start of next week, in all probability following a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump and the head of Sudan’s transitional council Abed al-Fatah- al Burhan,” reports the paper.
  • A quote from a Sudanese official to London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed that a “deal is closer than ever” gets picked up widely in the Hebrew press.
  • Sudanese officials tell AP an Israeli-American delegation visited Sudan this week to put final touches on the deal establishing ties with Israel. One official says the emerging deal will include Israeli aid and investment, particularly in technology and agriculture. The Americans and Israelis also promised to talk to allies in the Gulf and the West to bring investment and debt relief to Sudan.
  • The officials do not give a timeframe but say an announcement could come at “any time” from Trump, which is probably always a good policy to have with this particular president.
  • Reuters also quotes Sudanese government officials saying that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is also willing to normalize, seen as a major step, but only if it’s okayed by a transitional council. That council has yet to form.
  • Nonetheless, Yedioth writes that the trip to Khartoum represented a “turning point” in talks, without going into too many details. It also reports that negotiations have been going on since 2017, when they kicked off at a secret meeting in Turkey, but only ramped up last year after dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power.

2. Ticket to Riyadh: Meanwhile, some are already looking ahead to Saudi Arabia, like the unnamed senior official who somehow winds up in all the stories about Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s travel to the US, who tells reporters........

© The Times of Israel

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