Towards other Arab-Israeli deals, even without Trump?

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Reuters

Donald Trump's Middle East envoy said on Sunday that the president's efforts to bring Israel and the Arab states closer together are gaining momentum and said he hopes more deals will follow, although Mr. Trump was not winning the election.

Avi Berkowitz, who accompanied the Israeli delegation to Bahrain on Sunday, said the Abraham's Agreements have bipartisan support in the United States and are designed to bear fruit in the long term and to encourage grassroots engagement in Israel and its new Arab partners.

Peace is something everyone should celebrate and see as a positive thing for the world, he said in an interview. We sincerely hope that no matter who wins the election, the Abrahamic Accords will continue to grow.

As the UAE had done, Bahrain agreed last month to normalize relations with Israel, angering Palestinians. The latter had posed as a condition for such a rapprochement the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The US government has raced against time to finalize normalization agreements ahead of the November election, in hopes of securing the president's re-election.

For US allies in the Middle East, these agreements provide an opportunity to more openly close their ranks against Iran.

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  • Saudi Arabia rules out deal with Israel without peace with Palestinians

The plane carrying the Israeli delegation flew over Saudi Arabia, with the agreement of the Gulf power which has so far resisted calls to normalize its relations with Israel.

This is a decision that (the Saudis) must ultimately come to themselves. Our conversations with them have been positive on several frontsMr Berkowitz replied when asked about possible Saudi plans in the same direction.

We look to them for an understanding of the region, of how things are going on many fronts, we have had some very good discussions with them, but time will tell., he added.

Avi Berkowitz, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and other delegates will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, where the deal with Israel has opened up bilateral trade.


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