JERUSALEM, Israel - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Israel Monday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting is just one stop on a regional trip to encourage more nations to follow the lead of the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Both Netanyahu and Pompeo praised the new peace agreement.
“It has been a boom to peace and to regional stability. And I think it heralds a new era where we can have other nations join. We discussed this and I hope we will have good news in the future, maybe in the near future,” said Netanyahu.
Pompeo said the deal will “create a more stable, more prosperous Middle East.”
“This is a really good step in that direction. Economic relationships with the emirates, opportunities for innovation and science, travel between these two places, will now be open,” said Pompeo.
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After his Israel trip, Pompeo plans to travel onto Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE. Presidential advisor Jared Kushner is also traveling in the region.
Both trips are designed to encourage other nations in the region to join the UAE in normalizing relations with Israel.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren called the deal a stunning diplomatic breakthrough.
“The agreement overturned, upended 30 years, 50 years, in some cases 70 years about general consensus about the peace process of how to make peace between Israel and the Arab world,” said Oren.
But some in Israel are disappointed that Israel’s declaration of sovereignty over parts of its biblical heartland never materialized. That means no annexation of parts of the areas of biblical Judea and Samaria in the area now known as the West Bank. Kushner said that plan was off the table for the foreseeable future.
Others are looking at Iran and Turkey, who are opposed to the Israeli-UAE peace deal. Some are concerned this opposition might set the stage for a military confrontation in the region.
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