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US Urges Arab Countries to Make ‘Historic Move’ and Improve Relations with Israel

12-04-2019
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JERUSALEM, Israel – The United States is pushing several Arab countries to reach non-belligerence agreements with the State of Israel, Axios reported Tuesday. 

Barak Ravid of Israel’s Channel 13 News said Israeli, Arab, and US sources told him “President Trump’s deputy national security adviser, Victoria Coates, met last week with the ambassadors of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Morocco in Washington. All four countries have secret contacts and cooperation with Israel but no diplomatic relations.”

Ravid reports that Coates met with the nations to encourage them to improve their relations with the Jewish State. Non-belligerence agreements are a step in between the secret relations these Arab states have with Israel now and full diplomatic relations.

The report said the talks are in a preliminary stage, but the Arab ambassadors said they would discuss the matter with their leaders and return with an answer soon.

The initiative is all apart of the Trump Administration’s goal to facilitate the normalization of ties between Israel and the Gulf states.

The move also expands on an effort by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who raised the idea of signing a non-belligerence pact with Omani leaders in September during the United Nations General Assembly.

“Recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign ‘non-aggression agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states,” Katz wrote on Twitter in October.

“It’s a historic move that will end the [formal] conflict [with those states] and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements,” he said, in what appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement that no Arab country is currently willing to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.

The actual implementation of such non-belligerence agreements is unknown because Israel does not have a formal government and may be forced into a third election in less than 12 months. 

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