WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that another country could soon join a diplomatic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump will host the signing ceremony next Tuesday, which will include delegations from Israel and the UAE. Its negotiators are trying to get other Gulf states, such as Bahrain and Oman, to join in normalizing relations with Israel.
Last month, Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations in a deal that Trump helped arrange.
“Next week at the White House we will have a signing between the UAE and Israel and we could add another country to that. And I’ll tell you that there are countries that want to get into this, “Trump told a news conference at the White House.
Trump, who wants re-election on November 3, did not reveal the name of the country that could be the next to join, but predicted that Saudi Arabia would eventually do so.
“You will hear other countries coming in a relatively short period of time. And you could have peace in the Middle East, “he said.
“I think what will happen in the end is that you will enter a lot of countries. The big ones will come in. I talked to the King of Saudi Arabia, so we’re talking. We have just started a dialogue. And you will make them come in, ”he said.
The Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to a question about whether the Saudi ambassador or other Saudi representative would attend next week’s signing ceremony at the White House.
Trump said he believed that the Palestinians, who had denounced Trump’s Middle East peace initiative as too favorable for Israel, would eventually “return to the fold” and start a dialogue.
“Honestly, I’m surprised they haven’t been to the table before,” said Trump, who added that the United States would consider lifting the freeze on aid to the Palestinians if a deal could be reached.