National security adviser: White House 'hopeful' more nations will follow UAE on Israel

White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that the White House is “hopeful” more nations in the Middle East will join the United Arab Emirates and formalize ties with Israel. 

O’Brien told NBC's "Meet the Press" that administration officials including himself, President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money Kushner associate pardoned by Trump in plea discussions over cyberstalking charges Biden has an opportunity to put his own stamp on Arab-Israeli relations MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhy is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? Keeping the world's focus on cyber State Department watchdog probing whether Trump aides took gifts meant for foreign officials MORE have “fanned out” to speak with other leaders.

“We think that there’s momentum for some additional parties to join and to normalize relations with Israel,” he said. 


“So we’re quite hopeful that we can build on this momentum,” the adviser added. 

O’Brien said he was unable to provide a timeline for getting more countries to join saying “these are the toughest negotiations in the world.”

"We're confident that we think that a couple of other countries are going to get on board soon,” he said. 


When asked about Saudi Arabia in particular, O’Brien said, “It’s possible they could be next.”

“I’m hoping that King Salman and … Mohammed bin Salman see that development and realize that this will be great for Saudi Arabia, it’ll be great for Arab people and it’ll be great for the Islamic world as well,” the adviser said.

But he added they were talking to “a number of countries in addition to Saudi Arabia.”

The Israel-UAE deal announced last week came as a win for the president, who has suffered lower approval ratings based on his handling of the coronavirus virus. Strategists estimate it will give Trump a boost ahead of the 2020 election.