Oct 23, 2020
Donald Trump Announcement Transcript: Israel and Sudan Agree to Normalize Relations
Transcript of Donald Trump speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu over speaker phone on October 23 to announce an agreement between Sudan and Israel to normalize diplomatic relations.
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President Trump: (00:00)
… sign, but it’s peace. So that’s official and that’s nice. Yeah, we have at least five that want to come in, and we’ll have many more than that very soon.
Journalist 1: (00:09)
When you say “want to come in,” you mean?
President Trump: (00:10)
Want to come into the deal. In other words, yeah, part of the peace deal.
Journalist 2: (00:13)
You said Saudi Arabia-
President Trump: (00:14)
You know what it’s costing the United States? Nothing, nothing. It’s so nice. Isn’t that nice? I say nothing. Why should we be paying? We’re settling peace. It’s like Kosovo and Serbia. You look at what’s happened there. We’re doing a trade deal, BB, two trade deals. They were killing each other all the time for 25 years. Right? Much longer than that. I said, “Wait a minute. We’re doing trade with each country. Why don’t we just settle it up, so you don’t have to kill each other?” They were so happy. They were so happy. So we settled a deal.
President Trump: (00:47)
We do a lot of things that people don’t know about, fellas. Any other questions for me about this?
Journalist 3: (00:51)
[crosstalk 00:00:55]. President Trump, can you just walk us through what “normalize relations” means? What [crosstalk 00:00:56]-
President Trump: (00:56)
Bibi, do you want to give that, what normalized relationship, what it really means and what it means to you? Go ahead, Bibi.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (01:08)
Yeah, I’ll give you an example. It’s really mind-boggling. Okay? A few days ago, I wanted to import an iPhone. There was a ship, a huge ship, container ship, that came in from the Emirates. Okay? Second container ship. The first one was a week earlier. So these were the first container ships coming from the free trade area in Dubai, coming to Isso. They had consumer goods there. They had actually washing machines. Okay, that’s bringing down the price, the cost of living for the citizens of Israel right away.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (01:41)
So first, it’s trade. Okay? Then Israelis could never fly east. I mean, we had to go around the Red Sea, really around the Arabian Peninsula. It would take us hours to get anywhere, let alone to get into the Arabian Peninsula, because we didn’t have any relation to there. Now people are planning. There are now guide … tourism offices from Israel, all these tourism agents, flocking to Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Bahrain.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (02:11)
They’re now just loaded with requests from Israeli and, believe it or not, the other way around Bahrainis and Emiratis who want to come to Israel. So you have tourism. You have trade. Tourism, technology, entrepreneurs, everything. The same thing is going to happen with the Sudan. We’re going to have … Each of us has what it has to offer the other. It changes the lives of people.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (02:33)
Exactly as you said, Mr. President, we’re not engaging in bloodshed. We’re not engaging in antagonism. We’re engaging in cooperation for the present and the future. It’s not a distant vision. It’s not a distant dream. We’re actually seeing the fruits of peace right now in these days, days after signing these agreements. I think we’ve never seen anything like this.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (02:58)
I want to say the one thing that I do see, an enthusiasm from most countries in the world, for most people in the world, across the political divide. Yeah, Iran is unhappy. Hezbollah is unhappy. Hamas is unhappy, but most everybody else is very happy. They should be because peace is a group thing. It’s a very good thing. So if you ask me, “What does it feel like? It’s amazing and it’s fast.”
President Trump: (03:24)
They’re also poor. Iran is poor. Hamas is poor. They’re all poor. They weren’t poor three years ago. They were blowing everything up. They’re very poor. Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, BB, Sleepy Joe? Do you think he would’ve made this deal somehow? I don’t think so.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (03:47)
Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you, is we appreciate it the help for peace from anyone in America. We appreciate what you’ve done enormously.
President Trump: (03:56)
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:03:57].
Benjamin Netanyahu : (03:56)
We appreciate it very much, what you have done.
Journalist 3: (04:00)
Mr. President, can you follow up on the idea of what this means to Iran? The pressure?
Benjamin Netanyahu : (04:04)
This will be registered in the books, history books. History registers who did what? I think it does. It’s going to register-
President Trump: (04:12)
Yeah, no, I think it’s a terrific thing. It should be completed pretty soon. Say?
Journalist 3: (04:20)
Yeah, I just wondered if you could expand a little bit on what this means to Iran, the pressure that these deals are now placing on them?
President Trump: (04:24)
Well, I think ultimately, Iran maybe will become a member of this whole thing, if you want to really know the truth. Look, in the end, you’re going to have everybody together with the United States. Beyond the United States, you’ll have other major powers involved. And with it, not have to be signed into it because it’s a region, but with it, and I could see Iran …
President Trump: (04:44)
Look, someday, I’d love to help Iran. I’d love to get Iran back on track. Their GDP went down 27%. They’ve gone from a rich country to a poor country in a period of three years. I’d love to get them back on track. They just can’t have nuclear weapons. That’s all. Nuclear weapons, and it’s always, “Death to Israel.” That’s all they shout is “Death to Israel.” So they can’t have nuclear weapons, but they can have what they want.
President Trump: (05:09)
They should be a great nation. They’re great people. I know so many Iranians. I have a lot of Iranian friends, and should be a great nation. We want it to be a great nation, but we can’t have nuclear weapons. I could see Iran ultimately, it sounds … Right now, it doesn’t sound like something that would happen, but I see it happening.
President Trump: (05:28)
Ultimately, they’ll all be one unified family. It’ll be an amazing thing. Probably has never happened in the Middle East because the Middle East is known for conflict and fighting.
Journalist 4: (05:41)
[crosstalk 00:05:41]. Is this a full normalization, and do you and the Prime Minister want to say anything about the sale of F-35 to the UAE?
President Trump: (05:47)
No, but I think that it’s moving along. That process is moving along. It’s a good process. We’ve had an incredible relationship long-term. We’ve never had a dispute with UAE. They’ve always on our side. That process is moving along, I think, hopefully rapidly.
Journalist 2: (06:03)
[crosstalk 00:06:03] remove Sudan from the state-sponsored list of terrorism. Can you speak a little bit about how that move or those plans that are playing into the dynamics of the normalizations deal with Israel?
President Trump: (06:16)
Journalist 2: (06:18)
To remove Sudan from the state-sponsored-
President Trump: (06:20)
The dam, you said? The dam, is it?
Journalist 3: (06:21)
[crosstalk 00:06:20]. The state department.
Journalist 2: (06:24)
State-sponsored list. The list of state-sponsored terrorism.
Mike Pompeo: (06:25)
Mr. President, can I-
Journalist 2: (06:25)
Why don’t I have you answer that?
Mike Pompeo: (06:27)
So we’ve been working with Sudan for as long as I’ve been part of this administration, to address this issue of state-sponsored terrorism. They did all the things that they needed to do. These two leaders of Sudan did all the right things. We now have a civilian-led government inside of Sudan. So the rationale for them being designated state-sponsored no longer made sense.
Mike Pompeo: (06:47)
We also wanted to make sure that victims of that terror had compensation. So we’ve now accounted for that. $335 million will go to the victims from those terror attacks. But now Sudan has fully complied with them, and their leaders have done great work. We want to support that civilian-led government. We want them to be successful. So it’s completely appropriate that we would lift this. This will also be something that will help the Sudanese people and the Sudanese government. You’ll see trade, not only between Israel and Sudan, but between the United States and Sudan as well.
President Trump: (07:17)
Sudan has great potential on trade and other things. It could be a very, very successful, wonderful country. I think it will be. It’s been hampered by what’s going on in the world.
Journalist 2: (07:32)
Can you explain, though, how that connects to a normalization deal, Israel as well as negotiating-
Mike Pompeo: (07:34)
[crosstalk 00:07:35]. Sure, sure. They’re connected in the sense that the Sudanese leadership made sense that they both had one thing in common. It made sense for the Sudanese people to build out their economy, to create democratic institutions, all the things that the Sudanese people have been demanding. They’re connected in the sense of the Sudanese leadership is now driving towards a really good outcome and improve life for the people of Sudan, and we think, for the broader region in North Africa as well.
President Trump: (07:58)
And with the leaders on the phone, they’ve been incredible leaders. I will say they have been incredible leaders. You have great leadership now, which you haven’t had in the past. Please.
Journalist 1: (08:07)
I was going to ask you, obviously you’re going to hit the road in the next couple of days. Are you envisioning any sort of a meeting here in Washington between the Sudanese, as well as the Israelis? Then I’m just curious, what’s it like to try to do something like this, while also campaigning, and you’re in there, trying [crosstalk 00:08:22], trying to do something like that?
President Trump: (08:23)
That’s my life. Do I have a choice? Do I have a choice? This is all things I’ve been working on, and then the campaign-
Journalist 1: (08:30)
[ crosstalk 00:00:08:28]. Can I say something?
President Trump: (08:30)
The campaign begins. I think last night was very, very successful. We’ve gotten great reviews, great polls, great everything. I had 91% denied. That’s good. But, no, it was an exciting night. A tremendous audience, I understand, I hear bigger than they even thought. It was certainly an exciting night, but I have to … You know, this is my day job. I have to do this. This is very important.
Journalist 1: (08:55)
So are they coming to DC soon?
President Trump: (08:57)
We will have them, along with some other countries that you will be hearing about coming, probably simultaneously. Then ultimately, we’re going to have a big reunion at the end, where everybody’s here and everybody’s going to be signed. We expect that Saudi Arabia will be one of those countries and highly respected. The king and the crown prince, they’re all just highly respected in the Middle East. Mohammed from UAE, highly, very highly respected, a warrior. He’s really a great warrior. So they’ll all come together. We’re going to have a big, beautiful party at the end. Okay? You’ll be there. Okay? Okay. Anybody else have a question?
Journalist 1: (09:36)
Another question about the meeting last night.
Journalist 2: (09:37)
[crosstalk 00:09:37] Middle East process.
Journalist 1: (09:38)
I know, obviously this is very informative. I think everybody was watching the debate last night. You seemed much more calm and measured at the podium. How much of that was you trying to change your strategy, or was that you wanting to play by the debate commission’s rules? What was going through your mind? Because you did seem to jump out at the first debate.
President Trump: (09:56)
I think the other is more effective, in terms of business and life. The first one, I thought I did great. There are certain groups of very aggressive people that loved the first debate, but I think this was better. This is obviously a more popular way of doing it. No, I think I wanted to play by the rules. They felt very strongly about it. It’s two different styles. I’m able to do different styles, if you had to. But this seemed to be much more popular.
Journalist 1: (10:24)
Would you do another debate?
President Trump: (10:25)
Yeah, but I don’t think there’s any reason. I think we’re leading in a lot of states that you don’t know about. Your pollsters may be the worst there are, by the way.
Journalist 2: (10:35)
Do you stand by your statement that you take responsibility for the pandemic, that you said last, sir?
President Trump: (10:39)
I always take responsibility, and I’ve done a great job. The people around me have done a great job. Just like these people have done a great job, the pandemic people, what they’ve done for ventilators and for equipment and for stocking governors that had absolutely nothing. They had nothing on their shelves, and we stocked up them.
President Trump: (10:57)
Those governors, if they’re honest, they’ll tell you we’d done the best job they’ve ever seen. I’ve had governors say it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen anybody do on anything, what we did. We made a lot of governors look good. There are a lot of good governors, too, by the way. They did a good job, but they had nothing. They didn’t have ventilators. They didn’t have gowns. They didn’t have masks or goggles or anything. We got them, and think of it.
President Trump: (11:19)
Ventilators are very tough. Not one person with all of this going on, not one person who needed a ventilator didn’t get it. That’s very untrue in other countries. In other countries, very few people were able to get. We’re now supplying ventilators to many other countries because they’re very hard to make. They’re very complex, very hard to make, very expensive. So, no, I think we’ve done a great job.
Journalist 4: (11:45)
[crosstalk 00:11:45] offer up any more stimulus talks with Speaker Pelosi?
President Trump: (11:47)
I think we can. Sure. I think we can. Go ahead, Steve. Your word.
The president’s been very clear in his instructions to me, that if we can get the right deal, we’re going to do that. We’ve been speaking to the Speaker. I would say we’ve offered compromises. The Speaker, on a number-
We’ve offered compromises, the Speaker, on a number of issues has still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal. But we’ve made lots of progress in lots of areas, but there’s still some significant differences that we’re working on.
President Trump: (12:16)
One of the big differences that you… And I said it last night, loud and clear. She wants to bail out poorly-run Democrat states. They’re poorly-run both in terms of crime and in terms of economics. And we just don’t want that. We want COVID-related. But she wants to bail out poorly-run Democrat states. And that’s a problem because you’re talking about tremendous amounts of money. And we don’t want to reward areas of our country who have not done a good job. And a lot of them, a lot of those leaders have not done a good job on medical and COVID, frankly. If you look at New York and if you look at some others, it’s been rough. It’s been very rough. But we don’t want to do that. Now we’re talking and we’ll see what happens.
President Trump: (13:00)
But at this moment, I would say that I actually think Nancy would rather wait till after the election. She thinks it’s a good point for the election, but I think it’s against her. Because, the American people know it’s her that’s stopping the money to going to them. I really believe it. I think she views it as a good election point, perhaps, good for November 3rd. I’d like to see the people get the money. I don’t think she wants the people to get the money before the election. I don’t think that’s a good point for her. But we want the people to get the money. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault. It was China’s fault. The plague came in from China. And that’s about it. [crosstalk 00:13:42]. No, no, no, no, no. That’s enough. That’s enough. Thank you. Four questions is too many. [crosstalk 00:13:48].
President Trump: (13:49)
Yes, we’re talking about it. We’re working with Armenia. We have a very good relationship with Armenia. They’re very good people. They’re so dedicated. They’re incredible people. And we’ll see what happens.
Speaker 1: (13:59)
Have you spoken to either leader in the last month?
President Trump: (14:01)
I don’t want to say, but we will see what happens. I think really good progress is being made with respect to that. [crosstalk 00:14:09]. Armenia is… We have a lot of people living in this country from Armenia, originally from Armenia and they’re great people and we’re going to help them. Okay?
Jeff Mason: (14:18)
Can we ask about the weekend? Obviously, you [inaudible 00:14:20] Prime Minister, sir. You mentioned a potential scenario with Iran would be part of a peace deal?
President Trump: (14:26)
No, I think at the very end, Iran will be… Yeah, I could see that. I could see that. Could you see that?
Speaker 2: (14:29)
Jeff Mason: (14:30)
Can we ask Prime Minister Netanyahu how he feels about that?
President Trump: (14:32)
I would say that. Yeah, sure. Go ahead.
Jeff Mason: (14:35)
Prime Minister Netanyahu, if you can hear me, Jeff Mason [crosstalk 00:14:38].
President Trump: (14:38)
This is Jeff Mason. He’s got a mask on. It’s the largest mask I think I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if you can hear him, but he wants to know about what you think, what you gentlemen think about, as I said, when it’s all finished up and everybody’s in the deal, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Iran be very friendly, also. You have everybody unified and I think that Iran will be in some way involved. And what do you think about that?
Benjamin Netanyahu : (15:06)
Well, I was beginning to say that when I spoke in the American Congress, I didn’t say I was opposed to any deal. I said I was opposed to that deal because that deal listed all sorts of restrictions from Iran and did not condition any change, require any change of behavior from Iran. Iran essentially increased its aggression after the deal, rather than reduce it. Ballistic missiles, enrichment of uranium for atomic bombs with all sorts of tourism in the region. I think that if a new deal is offered… And that’s what I actually said when I spoke to the U.S. Congress, a different deal is offered, it would be welcome.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (15:47)
I think that will only happen if Iran faces, I would say, faces strong opposition to its aggression, the kind that had been floated by you, Mr. President. I think if you’re soft on Iran, you’re not going to get peace with Iran. If you’re strong against Iran and prevent it, as you had just said, from achieving nuclear weapons, then I think that they might come around to a better deal. A better deal, a real deal, I think is something that no one will be opposed to. But so far, that’s not been available.
President Trump: (16:20)
When everybody’s unified, and this is all done, and it won’t be in a long period of time, Iran will be in some way involved. If not part of the deal, they’ll be very happy. And you know what? They’re tired of fighting too. They’re tired of what’s going on. Those are great people and they want an end to it. They want an end to it. In fact, if we win the election, they don’t want me to say when, but I always say if, because it’s an election, right? If we win the election, one of the first calls I’ll get will be from Iran. Let’s make a deal. One of the first calls I’ll get. They don’t want me to win and Russia doesn’t want me to win either.
President Trump: (17:00)
You know what was unique about those two countries? They both don’t want me to win and that’s okay. But I think we’re going to win. And I think if you start looking at what’s happening in these states, and the votes that are coming in, and the amount of votes that are coming in, and the great red wave hasn’t hit yet, that hits in a few days. It’s going to be a great red wave like you’ve never seen before. You’re going to have a wave like you’ve never seen before. It’s going to be all red and it’s going to be a thing of beauty. Have a good time, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much everybody and I’ll see you all soon, okay? Thank you very much.
President Trump: (18:00)
We have some very talented people from the press here and I’ll just make a quick statement. On the phone we have some terrific people, Chairman Abdel al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan, a beautiful part of the world and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I think you mostly know him. You perhaps heard of him somewhere. We have the very highly sophisticated press. I think they may have heard of him, of Israel. I want to just congratulate all of you. The state of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace. This is for many, many years, they’ve been at odds, to put it nicely, and to normalize their relations. This will be the third country where we’re doing this and we have many, many more coming. They’re coming at us hot and heavy in the coming weeks, they will meet to negotiate cooperation agreements. You saw that happened with UAE and Bahrain recently, in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration, and other critical areas. This historic deal comes just a few weeks after the groundbreaking agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Israel and Bahrain.
President Trump: (19:16)
That was very historic. That was a great day, a very historic day. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, three months ago, no one thought this would be possible. Even BB didn’t know that this was going to be possible, BB, right? But now multiple Arab countries across two continents have made peace with Israel. And again, we have many lined up. They want to come in. They want to get the deal done. They all see it, no blood in the sand. I say no blood. This is one where there’s been no blood in the sand. It was common sense. It should have been done this way a long time ago. It’s a very special deal for much of recent history. The people of Sudan were ruled over by brutal Islamic dictatorships. It was the home of Osama bin Laden, a place of terror, genocide, and many of the tragedies today. A great people of Sudan are in charge and new democracy is taking root.
President Trump: (20:11)
And the two people I have just mentioned are highly-respected leaders, highly, highly-respected leaders. The Sudanese transitional government has demonstrated its commitment to combating terrorism, creating market economy, and developing the democratic institution that is becoming today’s deal, builds on those commitments, and marks a pivotal turning point in Sudan’s history. This is, I would say, one of the great days in the history of Sudan. This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan. For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods, there was no relationship whatsoever. Today’s peace agreement will enhance Israel’s security and end Sudan’s long isolation from the world because of what was taking place. It will unlock new opportunities for trade and commerce, education and research, and cooperation and friendship for both peoples. I want to thank the leaders of Sudan. I want to thank you very much for being with us. And of course, Benjamin, for the incredible work you do constantly. We’ve had a tremendous relationship.
President Trump: (21:21)
There’s never been a relationship where Israel and the United States were so close. And I would say a few years ago, there’s probably never been a time when it was so far apart, so distant, if you want to know the truth. But this is a tremendous show of faith and courage and leadership, which has forged this agreement. The United States stands with all of you and all the nations that seek peace and cooperation. And again, we will be signing many nations over the next coming weeks and months, including some very big ones. It’s very exciting, actually. It’s peace in the Middle East without bloodshed. And it should have been done this way a long time ago. The Palestinians, by the way, if you ask about the Palestinians, they’re wanting to do something. They’ve never seen anything like this. They’re wanting to do something. I’m sure that will get done too. I’d like to congratulate everybody on the phone. And I don’t know if you have interpreters or if you needed the interpreters for that. But if you do, you can go forward, interpreters, if you need them.
Prime Minister, Sudan: (22:21)
Mr. President, I am very pleased to speak to you President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu. This call is indeed, an indication that a new chapter in our history is done. And the rest of the world has just begun. I would like to start with expressing my thanks to you, President Trump for taking the decision for protecting the [inaudible 00:22:57] of Sudan has [inaudible 00:23:01]. This decision, the decision of the [inaudible 00:22:59] of Sudan, [inaudible 00:23:04] economic situation in Sudan. [inaudible 00:23:10] in common. More importantly, it helps Sudan [inaudible 00:23:17] as a [inaudible 00:23:20], peace-loving [inaudible 00:00:23:20], as a nation, you have never [inaudible 00:11:26]. We very much look forward to [inaudible 00:23:30] and establishes common political and economic relations between our nations and the rest of the world. Thank you for your time. Thank you Prime Minister Netanyahu for the call and congratulations. I will follow up [inaudible 00:23:49] of our nation. Thank you so much.
President Trump: (23:53)
Well, thank you very much. It was beautifully stated and I appreciate it. BB, would you like to say something?
Benjamin Netanyahu : (23:58)
I want to say that we are expanding the circle of peace.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (24:03)
Well, I want to say that we are expanding the circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership, Mr. President, your [inaudible 00:24:07] team. History in the making. Actually, we’re all making history. From the Emirates to Bahrain now with Sudan and other countries that are in line, I think that this truly changes the region. It changes the lives of all our peoples for the better. It allows us to focus on the task of building nations, building our future, building technology, agriculture, environment, health, everything. And I think we can do it better together. And with your help, the help of the United States, the possibilities are infinite.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (24:46)
We used to say in the Middle East, the sky’s the limit. But now we don’t even have that because the skies are limitless. We fly over the Sudan. We fly over Saudi Arabia. We fly to Bahrain. We fly to the Emirates. Everybody flies to us. It’s just a new world. And I can’t tell you how excited we are for cooperating with everyone, the cooperating with Sudan to build the future, a better future for both of us. And it’s a glorious day for peace. I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for everything you’re doing.
President Trump: (25:19)
Even the media is very excited about it. I mean, everybody is excited about it. It’s an incredible thing. And again, as you know, Bibi, because you’re negotiating and talking to people, but they’re falling into line. Everybody’s going to be involved in this very shortly, I would say. Who knows? I can’t exactly put a date on, but within a very few number of months, everybody’s going to be in this deal. And that’s the way it should have been done a long time ago. We did it the opposite way, exactly the opposite way and we took a lot of abuse from the people that were unable to make a deal for 40 years.
President Trump: (25:54)
And this has gone very quickly, very nicely, very inexpensively and with no blood. So we’re very happy about that. Would anybody else like to say something and then I’ll have the press ask. Perhaps they may have a question for you. Please, go ahead, Prime Minister.
Speaker 3: (26:15)
I think from the agreement, our relation, [inaudible 00:26:16] local and regional security and peace. [ inaudible 00:02:24]. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu. I thank you for standing up from the beginning. Thank you for you. And our appreciate to Mr. President Trump.
President Trump: (26:46)
Well, thank you very much. Mike Pompeo, would you say something? Secretary of State.
Mike Pompeo: (26:52)
Just this Mr. President, this is a big day. I want to thank Prime Minister, Netanyahu, Prime Minister Hamdok, Chairman Buran for their hard work over the past months to get to a place which will increase peace and prosperity throughout, not only the middle East, but in North Africa. And that’s a good thing for the whole world today, Mr. President
President Trump: (27:11)
It certainly is. Jared Kushner?
Jared Kushner: (27:14)
Thank you, Mr. President. Well, I think that today is another great example of what is possible when you have strong and smart American leadership in the Middle East and throughout the world. For those who follow the history of this conflict, the significance of this cannot be overstated enough. You have a situation in 1967 after the six day war, the Arab league met in Sudan, and in [inaudible 00:03:37]. they had the declaration of what was became known as the three no’s for the Arab League. No peace, no recognition, no negotiations. Now today we have peace. We have the three yes’s under president Trump. We have peace, we have recognition and we have negotiation for even more peace. So this is a tremendous acceleration of the turning point that President Trump has been able to accomplish in the region. And I do really believe that we’re seeing this pickup even more and more.
Jared Kushner: (28:06)
We have more countries that are going to be making peace with Israel. We’re very confident that the Israeli Palestinian conflict will be resolved as well. And I do think that will allow us to focus on reducing extremism and terrorism, and then also reducing antisemitism throughout the world. And both of those cannot be understated enough as big accomplishments. And I will just say finally, that if you look at where Sudan was in 2016, versus where they are now, again, you have a President who’s not lecturing other countries. But for countries who want to improve their lot and make progress, there’s no better partner than America. And that’s what you’re seeing with Sudan and with the Middle East. And I will just say as well that these peace agreements are not as easy as President Trump and his team are making them look. These are very hard agreements. These are conflicts that have gone on for decades in many regards and getting people to resolve these conflicts and focus on how you can create a brighter future is just a tremendous thing that makes America safer and the world a better place. So thank you, Mr. President for your leadership.
President Trump: (29:08)
It’s very funny when Jared said that, it’s true. They’ve been going on for, you could say centuries in some cases really. I mean, if you think about it, but they’ve been going on for many decades and it’s just falling into place. It’s all falling into. It’s the right system and all falling in. Robert O’Brian?
Mr. President, thank you. And thank you to everyone here, all the members of your team that have been worked so diligently. Jared and the secretary under Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Pompeo, under your direction. What I said early on when I came to this job, is that your legacy, Mr. President, as you left office, would be as that of a peacemaker. And I…
President Trump: (29:47)
Nobody would’ve believed it. Except you.
And I think it’s shown a tremendous amount of courage for you to put your political capital and to put your leadership at risk. I think it’s also shows a tremendous amount of courage. With the leaders who are on the phone, with the Prime Minister of Israel, the Prime Minister of Sudan, the chairman, the council of Sudan, King Hamad, Crown Prince [inaudible 00:06:09]. It’s taken a tremendous amount of courage, but it’s not just here, Mr. President. At your direction, Secretary Pompeo signed a peace agreement with the Taliban. And we haven’t had a combat death in Afghanistan since February.
President Trump: (30:22)
No, think of that. In Afghanistan, we have not had a combat death since February. It’s a long time ago. I mean, that’s something that is very nice. It’s got a beautiful ring to it.
And you brought normalization to Serbia and Kosovo. Economic normalization. Kosovo is another Muslim majority nation that has recognized Israel and moved their capital to Jerusalem or move their embassy in Jerusalem. So again, Mr. President, I think you and the team that you’ve put together has just done a tremendous job, bringing peace to the America and peace to the world, which in turn brings peace to the American people and allows us to keep our sons and daughters who serve in uniform here at home and not out in the Middle East and other places as you’ve talked about during your time in office. So thank you.
President Trump: (31:05)
Thank you very much. Steve?
Mr. President, congratulations on another incredible achievement with this peace agreement between Sudan and Israel. And I just returned from representing you in the region. I was in Abu Dhabi, Mr. President representing you at the first ever Abraham Accords Business Summit between Israel and UAE and seeing the leaders of both those countries and the business people now interacting together and doing business was extraordinary. And also in Bahrain and seeing the region under your leadership united against the terrorists act from Iran and the issues in Iran, you have brought peace and stability to the region and security.
President Trump: (31:51)
It’s a much different place. Brian Hook, please.
Brian Hook: (31:55)
Mr. President, the Arab Israeli conflict is moving toward its end. And this is transformative diplomacy that has been led by the president. It started with two peace agreements in the Middle East, and now it has spread to Africa. And the president has stood with Israel and countered Iran. And that has given space to our Arab partners to move closer to Israel. And so with three peace agreements, this is now the third defeat for Iran’s foreign policy. And it is another victory for America.
President Trump: (32:27)
Had we not done what we did with Iran, this could never have worked. That was a horrible deal. There was a horrible setback. BiBi and others were very much against it at the time, but that’s what the problem was. And it was not well done, not well executed. And that agreement is practically over. Had we let that agreement stay, it’s practically over. And that would have been a pathway to nuclear weapons. And we’ll never let Iran have nuclear weapons. [inaudible 00:08:57], just say a few words, please.
Speaker 4: (32:56)
Thank you, Mr. President. Congratulations. I think it’s worth reiterating that these deals, the third Arab League country to recognize Israel is only possible because of your leadership. This would not have happened if not for President Trump and the possibilities are endless because of your leadership and hopefully more and more countries will join.
President Trump: (33:17)
So they’ve been working on those… how many years, BiBi, peace? How many years have they been working? Approximately?
Benjamin Netanyahu : (33:24)
I’ve been talking about it for 25 years, but Mr. President, it’s a fact that it was your involvement that accelerated everything. When I met the chairman [inaudible 00:33:35] in Uganda, in Africa, eight months ago, I had hoped we could reach this day. But it took your diplomacy, your team, and frankly, the courage. The courage of the leaders of Sudan and their wisdom, their willingness to join all of us and this historic a historic odyssey. I mean, but this isn’t an odyssey and honestly is a long journey. This like an express train that is moving from one industry to the other. And I think one reinforces the other. And I’m very excited by a new future for Israel in Sudan. But I’m very excited also for a new future for Israel and other countries, which you and I know, Mr. President are waiting to join us. So I think this is the beginning of something or the continuation of something very, very profound. And it’s a change of history.
President Trump: (34:30)
And Bibi, how does it feel flying those beautiful airliners right over the top of UAE? You never thought that was going to happen, right? To save about two hours in flight time.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (34:43)
Well, people are flying in the open. I mean, they’re actually flying over what used to be unthinkable.
President Trump: (34:50)
Benjamin Netanyahu : (34:51)
Expanses of land that were basically in a belligerent state with us. Now they’re flying to Dubai. Israelis are flying to… Their flying to Bahrain. Very soon we’d like to fly to Sudan. We’d like to have joint entrepreneurs, joint ventures, tourism, everything, I think what was changing, Mr. President, under this vision of peace is that it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. It can be a win, win, win, win. I was going to say a win-win, but there are so many wins here that we should continue. And that’s really, I think the remarkable change that you have brought forward in this area. I’ve been frankly believing it, but it would not happen with, for a long time, but it would not happen with such an active, I would say positive and confident American position that just threw away the board and said we’re starting anew. The old thing didn’t work. This thing works. Let’s move. And you did. We have normalcy.
President Trump: (35:58)
So we have many countries as you know, getting ready. And we also have, I’m sure you’ll see some.
President Trump: (36:03)
As you know, getting ready. And we also have, I’m sure you’ll see Saudi Arabia in there, very soon. I really believe that will happen, too. And, very good relations with Saudi Arabia. So, you’ll see something very special. This is already special, but we are going to be signing numerous countries in the not too distant future, so that’ll be great.
President Trump: (36:21)
While you are on the phone, could I ask you, how is the dam doing in Ethiopia? The largest dam in many, many years, being built. Unfortunately, it stops water from flowing into the Nile, which causes Egypt a little bit of a problem, right? As it should. But Ethiopia built a dam, you know all about it probably, BB, but I’ve been dealing with Sudan on that. And I’m just curious, how is that going? Because you’re really the third party involved with Ethiopia and Egypt and the dam. Are they working out their deal? Because I had a deal done for them. And then unfortunately, Ethiopia broke the deal, which they should not have done. That was a big mistake. And we’ve stopped payment to them, of a lot of aid, because they did it. And they will never see that money, unless they adhere to the agreement. But they built a dam, which stops water from flowing into the Nile, and you can’t blame Egypt for being a little bit upset, right? How are they doing with that? Do you know?
Benjamin Netanyahu : (37:20)
Well, I think they need a lot of help to resolve it. [crosstalk 00:37:20]
President Trump: (37:20)
Yeah, no. I was actually talking to Sudan, BB. Talking to the chairman, talking to the prime minister. How are you doing?
Prime Minister, Sudan: (37:37)
President Trump: (37:37)
He may not want to answer that.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (37:39)
Please go ahead.
Prime Minister, Sudan: (37:40)
[crosstalk 00:37:40] We do very much appreciate the vehicle that [inaudible 00:37:45] the Washington [inaudible 00:37:47] which in very few months brought us together. I think that the [inaudible 00:37:49] very well on this. We hope to reach a workable situation that will bring a lot of benefits of the mobility of a free nation, and while we are moving in that direction, we hope to reach an amicable solution soon for this.
President Trump: (38:09)
Yeah. If you would, because I had a deal done and then they broke the deal and they can’t do that. They can’t do that. So the deal was done and it’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way and they’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it, and I say it loud and clear, they’ll blow up that dam and they have to do something. So whatever you can do to get them, Ethiopia to do that, they’re going to have to, okay? And we’ve cut off all payment and everything else, to Ethiopia. It was terrible. We were all set to sign a deal. It was negotiated for five years and longer than that. And they couldn’t make the deal and I got the deal done and then they’re getting ready to sign the deal and they broke the deal, which is not good. So whatever you could do, prime minister, if you could, that would be great okay? You tell them they got to get it done.
President Trump: (39:03)
And I’m telling Egypt the same thing, by the way, because they could have stopped it. They should have stopped it long before it was started. I said, “How do you let it get built?” And then you say they have a dam. But they had other things on their mind. That was at a time when they were having a minor revolution to put it mildly. That was a bad time for Egypt. So I guess they had other things on their mind. So you’ll work on that Sudan, and thank you very much. Do you have any questions for Sudan or for Benjamin? Yes, please. Only for that please.
Speaker 5: (39:35)
Well, more broadly than for you sir, than the gentlemen on the phone. You referenced some other countries. Can you give us a sense of which countries those are? And you also said that the Palestinians want to do something. Can you give us an update on the status of those?
President Trump: (39:49)
Nope. I mean, they’re both just statements that we have many countries wanting to come in and we’re doing them one by one. We did Sudan. They wanted to do a deal. And that was in particular nice, because they’ve essentially been at war with Israel for a long time. I don’t know if it was fighting. I don’t know that, but probably there’s been a little bit, but certainly it’s been for many years, you’ve been officially at war with Sudan and now it’s not only the deal was signed, but it’s peace. So that’s official and that’s nice. Yeah, we have at least five that want to come in and we’ll have many more than that very soon.
Speaker 5: (40:23)
And when you say want to come in, you mean [crosstalk 00:40:25].
President Trump: (40:25)
Want to come in to the deal. In other words, yeah, part of the peace deal. And you know what it’s costing the United States? Nothing, nothing. It’s so nice. Isn’t that nice? I say nothing. Why should we be paying? We’re settling peace. It’s like Kosovo and Serbia. You look at what’s happened there. We’re doing a trade deal, BB, two trade deals. And they were killing each other all the time for 25 years, right? Much longer than that. I said, “Wait a minute, we’re doing trade with each country. Why don’t we just settle it up, so you don’t have to kill each other?” And they were so happy. They were so happy. So we settled the deal. We do a lot of things that people don’t know about fellas. Any other questions, for the prime minister?
Speaker 5: (41:07)
Can you just walk us through what normalized relations means? What now [crosstalk 00:41:13]
President Trump: (41:12)
BB, do you want to give that? What normalized relationship, what it really means and what it means to you. Go ahead BB.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (41:17)
Yeah, well I’ll give you an example. It’s really mind boggling, okay? A few days ago I went into a port in Haifa. There was a ship, a huge ship, container ship that came in from the Emirates, okay? Second container ship. The first one was a week earlier. So these were the first container ships coming from the free trade area in Dubai, coming to Israel. They had consumer goods there. They had actually washing machines. Okay. That’s bringing down the price, the cost of living for the citizens of Israel right away. So first, it’s trade, okay? Then Israelis could never fly east. I mean, we had to go around the Red Sea, really around the Arabian peninsula. It would take us hours to get anywhere, let alone to get into the Arabian peninsula because we didn’t have any relations there.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (42:13)
Now people are planning. There are now tourism offices from Israel, all these tourism agents, flocking to Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Bahrain. And they’re now just loaded with requests from Israelis and believe it or not, the other way around. Bahrainis and Emiratis who want to come to Israel. So you have tourism, you have trade, tourism, technology, entrepreneurs, everything. I mean the same thing is going to happen with Sudan. Each of us has what it has to offer the other. It changes the lives of people.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (42:48)
And exactly, as you said, Mr President, we’re not engaging in bloodshed. We’re not engaging in antagonism. We’re engaging in cooperation for the present and the future. And it’s not a distant vision. It’s not a distant dream. I mean, we’re actually seeing the fruits of peace right now, in these days, days after signing these agreements. We’ve never seen anything like this. And I want to say, one thing that I do see, an enthusiasm from most countries in the world, for most people in the world, across the political divide. Yeah, Iran is unhappy. Hezbollah is unhappy. Hamas is unhappy. But most everybody else, is very happy and they should be because peace is a good thing. It’s a very good thing. So if you ask me, what does it feel like? It’s amazing and it’s fast.
President Trump: (43:39)
They’re also poor. Iran is poor. Hamas is poor. They’re all poor. And they weren’t poor three years ago, they were blowing everything up. They’re very poor. Do you think sleepy Joe could have made this deal, BB? Sleepy Joe, do you think he would’ve made this deal? Somehow, I don’t think so.
Benjamin Netanyahu : (43:59)
Well, Mr President, one thing I can tell you, is we appreciate the help for peace from any one in America and we appreciate what you’ve done enormously. [crosstalk 00:44:19] And this will be registered in the books, history books. History registers who did what. I think it does. It’s going to [crosstalk 00:44:26]
President Trump: (44:26)
Yeah, no, I think it’s a terrific thing. And it should be completed pretty soon. Say.
Speaker 5: (44:33)
Yeah, I just wondered if you could expand a little bit about what this means to Iran, the pressure that these deals are now placing on [crosstalk 00:44:40]
President Trump: (44:39)
Well, I think ultimately Iran maybe will become a member of this whole thing, if you want to really know the truth. Look in the end, you’re going to have everybody together with the United States and beyond the United States, you’ll have other major powers involved. And with it, not have to be signed into it, because it’s a region, but they’re with it.
President Trump: (44:57)
And I could see Iran… Look, someday, I’d love to help Iran. I’d love to get Iran back on track. Their GDP went down 27%. They’ve gone from a rich country to a poor country in a period of three years, and I’d love to get them back on track. They just can’t have nuclear weapons, that’s all. And nuclear weapons and it’s always death to Israel. That’s all they shout, is death to Israel, so they can’t have nuclear weapons, but they can have what they want. I mean, they should be a great nation. They’re great people. I know so many Iranians. I have a lot of Iranian friends. It should be a great nation and we want it to be a great nation, but we can’t have nuclear weapons and I could see Iran ultimately… Right now, it doesn’t sound like something that would happen, but I see it happening. Ultimately they’ll all be one unified family. It will be an amazing thing. Probably has never happened in the Middle East because the Middle East is known for conflict and fighting.
Speaker 5: (45:52)
[crosstalk 00:09:560] full normalization and do you and the prime minister want to say anything about the sale of F- 35s to the UAE?
President Trump: (46:01)
No, but I think that’s moving along, that process is moving along. It’s a good process. We’ve had an incredible relationship long-term. We’ve never had a dispute with UAE. They’ve always been on our side and that process is moving along, I think hopefully rapidly.