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National Security Advisor Voices Optimism That More Nations Will Normalize Relations With Israel

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Members of President Donald Trump’s administration are confident that the new peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is not a one-off. 

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said the Trump administration believes other nations in the region will normalize relations with Israel.

“We think that there’s momentum for some additional parties to join and to normalize relations with Israel. We fanned out as soon as this was announced, I’ve been on the phone with leaders in the region, the president has, Jared Kushner has, Secretary Pompeo has,” O’Brien said.

He said he could not give a timeline on when other countries might sign similar agreements because “these are the toughest negotiations in the world.” 

Still, O’Brien stressed, “We’re confident that we think there are a couple of other countries that are going to get on board soon and we’re looking forward to that.”

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When asked if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could be the next nation to sign a similar peace agreement, O’Brien said, “It’s possible that they could be next.”

He noted two of the holiest sites in Islam are in Saudi Arabia, and the third if the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel

Under the new agreement between Israel and the UAE, Muslim pilgrims will be able to travel to Israel to worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and voiced his belief that that would encourage other nations to normalize relations with Israel. 

On Thursday, Trump announced the new deal, as I.J.R. reported. At the time, O’Brien said the agreement would bring peace to the region.

Israeli officials have also expressed their belief that Bahrain and Oman will soon sign a similar agreement. And Israel’s Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said he believes that “in the coming year there will be a peace deal with additional countries in Africa, chief among them, Sudan.”

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