WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said Thursday that it was possible that another country could soon join a diplomatic deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
United States President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, USA, on September 10, 2020. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
Trump will host a signing ceremony next Tuesday that will include delegations with Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Its negotiators have tried to get other Gulf states, such as Bahrain and Oman, to participate in normalizing relations with Israel.
Israel and the UAE agreed last month to normalize relations in a deal that Trump helped shape.
“Next week in the White House we will have a signature between the UAE and Israel and we could add another country. And I will tell you that countries are lining up that want to get involved, ”Trump said at a press conference in the White House.
Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3, did not reveal the name of the country that could join next, but predicted that Saudi Arabia would eventually do so.
“You will be hearing other countries in a relatively short time. And you could have peace in the Middle East, ”he said.
“I think what will ultimately happen is that some countries will come in. The big ones will come in. I was talking to the King of Saudi Arabia, so let’s talk. We have just started the dialogue. And you will have them brought in, ”he said.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to a question about whether the Saudi ambassador or any other Saudi representative would attend the signing ceremony at the White House next week.
Trump said he believes the Palestinians, who have labeled Trump’s Middle East peace initiative too cheap for Israel, will end up being “brought back to their knees” and open a dialogue.
“I’m honestly surprised they weren’t at the table earlier,” said Trump, who added the United States would consider freezing aid to the Palestinians if an agreement can be reached with them.
Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney