Trump says Saudi Arabia will soon recognize Israel
President Trump said Friday he expects Saudi Arabia to open diplomatic ties with Israel soon, following the announcement that Sudan had agreed to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
“So we have many countries, as you know, getting ready, and we also have — I’m sure you’ll see Saudi Arabia there very soon,” the president said in remarks to the press from the Oval Office.
“I really believe that will happen too, and very good relations with Saudi Arabia and so you’ll see something very special.”
Trump said that about five more countries are expected to announce open relations with Israel as part of the administration’s efforts to establish diplomat ties between the Jewish state and Arab- and Muslim-majority states and as a counter to Iran.
The flurry of diplomacy comes less than two weeks before the election and as Trump seeks to promote himself as a peace- and deal-maker over his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Do you think sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi?” Trump said in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. “Sleepy Joe … Do you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don’t think so.”
“We appreciate the help for peace from any one in America and we appreciate what you’ve done,” Netanyahu responded.
Sudan on Friday became the third country the Trump administration has helped broker relations with Israel, following the signing last month at the White House of the Abraham Accords formalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
Trump said that an additional signing ceremony will take place to formalize the relations with Sudan and the expected additional countries.
“Ultimately we’re gonna have a big reunion at the end where everybody’s here and everybody’s going to be signed and we expect that Saudi Arabia will be one of those countries,” Trump said.
Saudi Arabia has largely signaled softer relations to Israel and are reported to have had covert security and diplomatic ties for years as a counter to Iran’s influence in the region.
Riyadh’s most recent public recognition of Israel was allowing its use of airspace by commercial Israeli flights following the brokering of relations between Israel and the UAE.
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