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Kushner: 4 countries near to normalising ties with Israel

March 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm

US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner speaks near Head of Israel’s National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat at Abu Dhabi airport following the arrival of the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE, on 31 August 2020. [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]

Jared Kushner, envoy to the Middle East of former US President Donald Trump, has said that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Mauritania are on the brink of normalising ties with Israel.

In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, he wrote: “We are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Kushner pointed out that “one of the reasons the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted for so long was the myth that it could be solved only after Israel and the Palestinians resolved their differences.”

“That was never true,” he added, noting that the Arab normalisation deals with Israel dubbed the Abraham Accords “exposed the conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel’s relations with the broader Arab world,” claiming that this dispute “will ultimately be resolved when both sides agree on an arbitrary boundary line.”

The former US official added: “There are also several more countries on the brink of joining the Abraham Accords, including Oman, Qatar and Mauritania. These relationships should be pursued aggressively—every deal is a blow to those who prefer chaos.”

READ: Jared Kushner plans book on Trump White House, Abraham Accords-source 

At the same time, he said: “Most important, normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel is in sight. The kingdom dipped a toe in the water by granting overflight rights to Israel and, most recently, allowing an Israeli racing team to participate in the Dakar Rally.”

“The Saudi people are starting to see that Israel is not their enemy. Relations with Israel are in the Saudi national interest and can be achieved if the Biden administration leads.”

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, called for the current US President Joe Biden not to waste the efforts his father-in-law exerted to reach the Abraham Accords.

“Following the new road map will prevent the Biden administration from repeating the mistakes of the past and unlock opportunities for U.S. businesses,” he said, pointing to the $10 billion investment fund announced by the UAE on Friday to invest in Israel.

He stressed: “The Arab world is no longer boycotting the Jewish state but betting that it will thrive.”

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied this saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

BahrainSudan and Morocco followed in the Emirates’ path, achieving economic or political benefits for their manoeuvers.