Israel and Sudan may sign a normalization deal in the near future, Israel’s intelligence minister said Sunday.

“A normalization agreement with Sudan is coming soon. This historical agreement may be signed before the new year,” Eli Cohen told KAN, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, in the wake of last week’s controversial deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UAE is the first Gulf state and third Arab nation to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

Despite reports that the deal halted Israel’s controversial plan to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed his government’s continued commitment to the annexation plan.

Palestinian groups denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.