WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said Thursday that it’s possible another country could soon join a diplomatic deal between Israel and the UAE.
Trump will host a signing ceremony next Tuesday that will include delegations with Israel and the UAE. Its negotiators have tried to persuade other Gulf nations, such as Bahrain and Oman, to join in the normalization of relations with Israel.
Israel and the UAE agreed last month to normalize relations in a deal that Trump helped orchestrate.
“Next week in the White House we will have a signature between the UAE and Israel, and we could add another country to that. And I̵
Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, hasn’t revealed the name of the country he may be next to join, but he predicted that Saudi Arabia will eventually.
“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 eventually it will happen that several countries will come. The big ones will come. I talked to the king of Saudi Arabia, so we are talking. We have just started the dialogue. And you will let them in,” he said.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not answer the question of whether the Saudi ambassador or another Saudi representative will attend next week’s signing ceremony at the White House.
Trump said he believes the Palestinians, who denounced Trump’s Middle East peace initiative as too pro-Israel, will eventually “return to the fold” and open dialogue.
“I’m frankly surprised they haven’t been at the table before,” said Trump, who added that the US would consider lifting the Palestinian aid freeze if a deal could be reached with them.
Reportage by Alexandra Alper, Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney