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Another normalisation deal possible 'in next day or two', claims US ambassador to UN

US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 September, 2020

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A third normalisation deal between Israel and a yet unnamed Arab state could be made public in the coming days, Ambassador Kelly Craft has said
The US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft revealed on Wednesday that a third normalisation agreement between Israel and an Arab country may happen in the next day or two.

During an interview with Saudi news network Al-Arabiya, Craft said that the US plan regarding Arab-Israeli relations is to "bring more countries... which we will have more being announced very soon". 

When asked exactly how soon, Craft responded: "well it could be today... there will be one in the next day or two... yes so we are very excited and know that others are going to be following, and what we don't want to do is to not isolate anyone but to bring everyone on board in hopes that this will allow the Iranian citizens to see that people really want peace in the Middle East and they are part of this peace".

"Obviously, we would welcome for Saudi Arabia to be next," added the ambassador.

Despite reports that regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been a key force behind the UAE-Bahrain-Israel deal, Riyadh is unlikely to sign an official normalisation accord itself.

Saudi Arabia is known to have already cultivated deep-running covert ties with Israel, including over security matters.

Since UAE and Bahrain signed an agreement to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel earlier this month, speculation has pointed to a handful of other Arab countries on the brink of reaching similar deals, with Oman and Sudan the most likely candidates.

The Trump administration has made Israel-Arab normalisation a key focus of its Middle East foreign policy, claimin them to be "peace deals". 

Read also: Five Arab states are in normalisation talks with Israel, Palestinian official says

However, Palestinians have been vocal in their opposition to such agreements, saying they remove any incentive for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territory, allow for Palestinian statehood, or restore Palestinian human rights.
The leader of Sudan's transitional government Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok held high-level talks in Abu Dhabi this week with US and UAE officials, adding to suspicions that Israel normalisation will be on the cards.

Meanwhile, Oman sent an official representative to the White House signing ceremony of the UAE-Bahrain-Israel accord, sparking rumours it plans to sign a similar deal in the near future.



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